OXFORD, OH -- Oh, but for a few first downs!
Aided by a flurry of Cincinnati Bearcat turnovers, the Miami RedHawks came dazzingly close to beating their area rivals for the first time in a decade Saturday at Yager Stadium. Cincinnati committed four fourth quarter turnovers, but Miami followed with just one first down (a penalty first down) and eventually fell to UC, 37-33.
The two teams combined for 47 first half points and entered the final stanza locked in a 30-all tie. By that time, defenses had gained the upper hand. After playing three quarters without a turnover by either squad, Cincinnati fumbled twice and was intercepted twice down the stretch
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The RedHawks broke in front for the second and final time shortly after recovering a Moore fumble at the UC seven-yard line. Three plays, however, left them at the ffour. Kaleb Patterson, who missed a shot earlier, came on to kick a 21-yarder that put MU up 33-30 with 7:12 remaining.
Moore drove the Bearcats down the field and made it to the MU 19 before Moore’s pass for the end zone was intercepted by Buchi Okafor. He returned it 18 yards, giving the RedHawks possession with 5:39 remaining. The Bearcats defense stuffed MU, forcing a punt.
Moore completed 7 of 14 for 118 yards with two interceptions overall. Kiel connected on 15 of 26 for 145 yards with one touchdown before leaving the game.
Seven Bearcats caught passes, led by Chris Moore (5 receptions, 73 yards, 1 TD). Mike Boone paced UC rushing with 118 yards on four carries with one TD. Hosey Williams and Tion Green did the bulk of work for the ground game. They combined for 36 carries and 156 yards. Cincinnati totaled 282 net yards rushing and 263 yards through the air.
Special teams also came through for the ‘Cats. Punter Sam Geraci averaged 53.0 yards per boot. Cincinnati also covered 174 yards on seven kickoff returns.
Aside from the fourth quarter, Miami’s run game moved the ball. Four players contributed at least 46 yards each to the 229-yard rushing total. Kenny Young had 62 yards on six carries. Alonzo Smith picked up 57 yards on 13 rushes.
Kummer, a senior from the Cincinnati area, completed 11 of 25 with three touchdowns and one interception. Freshman Billy Bahl hit 3 of 8 for 52 yards and one TD.
Sam Martin paced MU receivers with four catches for 174 yards. That included a second quarter 75-yard TD jaunt. The RedHawks aerial game provided 228 yards and all four MU touchdowns.