MOUNT PLEASANT — The Central Michigan football program held its annual spring game Saturday afternoon at Kelly/Shorts Stadium, with the Maroon squad holding on late for a 49-48 victory.
The Maroon team got on the board first in the first quarter as Jarrett Chapman intercepted Niznak on the first play of the game and Zurlon Tipton found the end zone to take a 13-0 lead. Chapman's interception, the lone turnover of the game, was good for six points for the Maroon under the modified scoring system used for the spring game.
Niznak would bounce back however, tossing three first-half touchdowns, including a 65-yard strike to 2011 Freshman All-American Titus Davis to pull the Gold within seven, 28-21.
A rushing touchdown by Adam Fenton and a 47-yard touchdown pass from A.J. Westendorp to Jerry Harris extended the Maroon lead to 42-21, but a rushing touchdown by Anthony Garland and 35-yard touchdown reception by Mike Kinville from Niznak pulled the Gold within seven at halftime, 42-35.
The Gold scored the only touchdown of the third quarter as both defenses tightened, as Garland scored his second touchdown of the day from two yards out to tie the game, 42-42. Niznak found Kinville for a 62-yard completion two plays prior to set up the game-tying score.
Ryan Radcliff, who finished the game 8-for-11 for 133 yards, opened the fourth quarter with a 44-yard pass to Harris to move the Maroon into the end zone before Tipton scored his third and final touchdown of the game to pull ahead, 49-42.
Tipton finished the day with 17 carries for 114 yards and his three touchdowns. Lombardo led the Gold on the ground with eight carries for 36 yards and a score.
Kinville finished the day with four catches for 94 yards and a touchdown for the Gold, while Harris snagged three balls for 122 yards and a score for the Maroon.