AKRON, OHIO – The Bowling Green Falcons ended a seven-game losing streak Wednesday night as they scored 10 points late in the fourth quarter to claim a 38-28 win over the Akron Zips at InfoCision Stadium.
Bowling Green (2-8, 1-5 MAC) picked up its first Mid-American Conference win of the season as the Falcons continued their mastery over the Zips with their eighth consecutive win over UA and third straight in the Rubber City.
“It was a heck of . . .
The loss was the third straight (5-6, 3-4) for Akron and fourth in its last five games as the Zips fall below the .500 mark for the first time this season.
The game’s first points came late in the opening period when the Falcons took possession on their own 40-yard line after a short UA punt. Six plays later, they were in the end zone as senior RB Fred Coppet ran eight yards up the middle for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead.
UA dented the scoreboard early in the second period as backup quarterback Travon Chapman engineered a drive from the 35-yard line to the BGSU 13 before the drive stalled. Sophomore PK Tom O’ Leary came on and kicked a 30-yard field goal narrowing the Falcons lead to 7-3.
Chapman came into the game on the Zips second possession of the contest after starter Thomas Woodson left the game with an undisclosed injury and did not return.
The Falcons added to their lead on the following possession as they went 68 yards in 14 plays, using the running of Coppet and junior RB Donovan Wilson. Coppet finished the drive with his second touchdown -- a six-yard rush -- moving the score to 14-3.
UA countered that scoring drive with one of its own as the hosts moved 68 yards in nine plays. Chapman reached paydirt on a one-yard plunge and Akron trailed, 14-10.
The Falcons defense came up with a big play late in the period. After a punt by Joe Davidson pinned the Zips back to their seven-yard line. Chapman, under heavy pressure, was hit by sophomore David Konowalski causing a fumble. Will Watson recovered for BG at the UA seven.
The play was the first of six turnovers by the Zips on a chilly evening. Even worse for Akron was that the hit by Konowalski knocked Chapman out of the game with an upper-body injury.
On the next play, Falcons WR Ronnie Moore took a direct snap and scored, giving the visitors a 21-10 lead at halftime.
BGSU opened its largest lead of the game early in the third quarter after trading fumbles with the hosts .
Coppet got it started by fumbling on the Falcons first play after the kickoff. Alvin Davis recovered for the Zips at the BGSU 32. Five plays later, however, emergency quarterback Terrell Goodman – usually a wide receiver -- lost the ball. Marcus Martin picked it up and ran 76 yards for a Falcons touchdown. That gave Bowling Green what seemed like a comfortable lead at 28-10.
The Zips got a big break early in the drive when running back D.J. Jones fumbled. It appeared BGSU recovered. However, when they separated the pile, the home team recovered at its own 49. On the next play, Goodman hit senior WR JoJo Natson on a go pattern for 50 yards down to the Falcons one. Sophomore Van Edwards then ended the six-play drive with a one-yard touchdown plunge to make it 28-17.
UA got the ball back after a short Davidson punt that Natson returned it 22 yards to the BGSU 30. The defense stiffened, however, bringing on O’Leary, who made his second three-pointer -- a 45 yarder, his longest of the season. That closed the deficit to 28-20.
After an exchange of punts, the Zips took over on their own one-yard line, pinned there thanks to a perfectly placed punt by Davidson, one of the top kickers in college football.
As the fourth quarter began, Goodman used the running of Edwards and Jones, as well as a couple of QB draws, moved the ball to his own 36. He then hit the big play as he found Jerome Lane on a fly pattern down the left sideline, good for 64-yards and the touchdown.
Bowden decided to go for two points and the tie, and it paid off. UA converted as Goodman again found Lane, who stretched the ball with his right arm breaking the plane of the goal line tying the score 28-28. The junior finished with 97 yards on five receptions.
The game turned into a battle of punts and field position before the Falcons got a break. Milton added to his fumble recovery and touchdown in the third quarter with an interception, grabbing the ball just before going out of bounds bounds at the UA 42.
The running of Coppet, who finished the evening with 116 yards on the ground along with his pair of touchdowns, helped set up the next Falcons score. Suder’s 27-yard field goal put Bowling Green in front, 31-28.
Possibly the biggest play of the contest occurred on the ensuing kickoff. Nick Fields kicked the ball short. It was touched by an Akron player before the Falcons recovered at the UA 22.
On the next play, Wilson sealed the victory with a touchdown run up the middle. He led the running game on the evening with a career-best 126 yards and provided the clinching score that gave BGSU its first win over an FBS opponent since they defeated Northern Illinois in the MAC Championship Game last December.
Over the 60 minutes, UA won the yardage battle 374 to 323. However, the injuries to Woodson and later Chapman would costly. When Goodman came into the game, a majority of his passes were of the deep variety and the Falcons were able to intercept three of them. Add to that three lost fumbles, as well as eight penalties for 85 yards.
BGSU will complete the season with two straight home games,the first coming on Tuesday November 15th against Kent State.
UA has some time off before its finale at Ohio on November 22nd.