KALAMAZOO, Mich. - Central Michigan Football brought the Victory Cannon trophy back to Mount Pleasant with a 27-22 victory at Western Michigan on Saturday afternoon.
Zurlon Tipton led Central Michigan (4-6, 3-3) to the victory with 114 yards on 29 carries and two touchdowns while Titus Davis caught nine balls for 122 yards.
CMU’s defense played a big role in the win. With the Broncos driving late, the Chippewas came up with a game-winning stop as Zach Terrell’s pass to Corey Davis fell incomplete to turn the ball over on downs with just 1:48 left in the game. CMU then ran out the clock to secure the victory.
The Central Michigan defense also scored the game-winning touchdown as redshirt freshman Tony Annese picked off Terrell and took it back 34 yards to put CMU up 27-16 with 1:10 left in the third quarter. It was Annese’s first career interception as he made his first career start for the Chippewas.
Tipton got Central Michigan off to a strong start with touchdown runs on CMU’s first two drives. The Chippewas got the opening kickoff and marched right down the field, going 58 yards in seven plays with Tipton’s 10-yard touchdown run giving CMU a 7-0 lead.
CMU’s second touchdown drive started after the Chippewas stopped WMU on fourth-and-one on WMU’s 41-yard line. Davis caught two balls for 23 yards on the drive including a eight-yard grab on third-and-six to get CMU down to the one yard line. Tipton would put CMU up 14-0 on the next play with a one-yard run up the middle.
The Broncos fought back with a pair of field goals in the second quarter, making it CMU 14-6 at the half.
Western Michigan (1-10, 1-6) used a pair of CMU turnovers to take a 16-14 lead midway through the third quarter. The Chippewas responded with a 12 play, 75 yard drive to retake the lead on a three yard touchdown pass from Cooper Rush to Mike Kinville. CMU converted four third downs on the drive with Rush responsible for three of those conversions.
On Western Michigan’s first play on its next drive, Annese grabbed his pick-6, giving CMU a 27-16 lead. The Broncos used another CMU turnover to pull within five as Brian Fields rushed for a one-yard touchdown with 11:12 left in the game. WMU’s two-point conversation attempt fell short.
CMU’s fifth turnover of the game gave Western Michigan good field position but the Chippewas’ defense forced a WMU field goal attempt from 32 yards which went wide left keeping CMU up by five. CMU’s first punt of the game gave Western Michigan one more opportunity but the Chippewas held strong to preserve the victory.
Rush finished the 16-of-25 for 167 yards and one touchdown. Adam Fenton was CMU’s second-leading receiver with two catches for 24 yards.
Senior Shamari Benton led the defense with 14 tackles and 1.5 tackles for a loss. Kevin King added 10 tackles while Justin Cherocci tallied seven tackles and a sack.
Dareyon Chance led Western Michigan with 93 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown while Brian Fields had 15 carries for 44 yards and a TD. Terrell finished 14-of-35 for 147 yards and Corey Davis tallied three catches for 40 yards.
The Chippewas return to action on Saturday, Nov. 23, when they host UMass. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.