The Central Connecticut football team posted two fourth quarter touchdowns but a late punt block for a score helped Eastern Michigan claim a 34-29 victory over the Blue Devils on Saturday afternoon. The loss drops CCSU to 3-1 on the season, ending their first 3-0 start since 2006. Eastern Michigan is now 3-1 on the season, after winning on the road at Illinois last week before hosting CCSU on Saturday.
Junior Tyshaun James had 118 yards receiving, all coming in the fourth quarter on just two catches, including the go-ahead score with just over two minutes to play.
Central scored on their first two drives of the game and led 15-7 in the second quarter before Eastern Michigan scored the final two touchdowns of the half to lead 21-15 at the half. Neither team scored in the third quarter but the Eagles used the fourth touchdown pass of the game from Mike Glass to push the lead to 28-15 with 11:36 left in the fourth quarter.
The game then went into a 50 minute lightning delay after the Eagles took the 28-15 lead in the fourth quarter.
Following the delay, the Blue Devils went 75 yards on seven plays and sophomore Keonte Lucas scored from one-yard out to cut the Eagle lead to 28-22. A big 50-yard completion from senior Aaron Winchester to James keyed the drive. Winchester and James hooked up again, this time on a 68-yard touchdown pass, to give the Blue Devils the 29-28 lead with just over two minutes to play in the game. A pair of interceptions, one from Anthony Caramanica and one from Tre Jones, fueled the fourth quarter comeback for the Blue Devils.
Eastern Michigan blocked a punt with 10 seconds on the clock and returned it for a touchdown to claim the 34-29 win.
Score: Central Connecticut 29, Eastern Michigan 34
Records: CCSU (3-1), EMU (3-1)
Location: Rynearson Stadium | Ypsilanti, MI
- "First off, I am incredibly proud of our players and staff," said head coach Ryan McCarthy. "The kids played their tails off and executed the game plan put together by the staff, extremely well. There are still a lot of of things to clean up, but there are numerous positives to take from this experience. It was not the outcome we had hoped for, but we will learn from it and work on improving ourselves during the bye next week to get ready for a very competitive Northeast Conference slate."
- The Blue Devils went 75 yards on 11 plays on their first possession of the game to take an 8-0 lead. Senior Enyce Walker rushed the ball in from one-yard out and had 40 total yards on the drive. Winchester hit Arthur Gilmore, Jr. with the 2-pt. conversion.
- Central's second scoring drive went 10 plays for 75 yards and a second touchdown, this time from James on a 10-yard rush. They held the ball for 12:19 of the first quarter.
- EMU took advantage of the game's first turnover and went seven plays and 53 yards to take a 21-15 lead just before halftime.
- Following a lightning delay, the Blue Devils went 75 yards on their first drive to cut the lead to 28-22. Lucas rushed it in from one-yard out for the score, his third in the last two weeks.
- Junior safety Anthony Caramanica posted the eighth interception of the season for the Blue Devils in the fourth quarter.
- A 68-yard throw and catch from Winchester to James with just over two minutes to play gave the Blue Devils a 29-28 lead.
- Eastern Michigan blocked a punt and with 10 seconds left ran it in for the game-winning score.
NUMBER TO KNOW
- 9 - The number of interceptions for the Blue Devils in four games this season.
- Today marked the first-ever meeting between Eastern Michigan and CCSU. It was the fourth time CCSU has played an FBS opponent.
- James scored his sixth touchdown of the season to end the first quarter and give the Blue Devils a 15-7 lead. It was his third rushing TD of the season. He scored his seventh touchdown of the season in the fourth quarter.
- The Blue Devils failed to rush for at least 250 yards in a game for the first time this season. Central ended the game with 115 rushing yards.
- With 11:36 left in the 4th quarter the game went into a lightning delay. The delay began at 5:42 p.m. and lasted 50 minutes.
- Winchester finished the game 17-of-22 passing for 231 yards and a touchdown.
The Blue Devils have a bye next week and return to action on Oct. 5 and open Northeast Conference play at Sacred Heart on ESPN3 at 2 p.m.