1990 California Raisin Bowl
Courtesy: Robert Barclay/CMU
Ken Ealy caught seven passes for 161 yards in the Raisin Bowl.

1990 California Raisin Bowl
San Jose State 48, CMU 24
December 8, 1990
Fresno, Calif.

The Central Michigan University Chippewas played in their first Division I bowl game in 1990 – California Raisin Bowl X.

San Jose State defeated CMU, 48-24, in Fresno.

CMU entered the game as one of the top defenses in the nation, allowing only 8.9 points per game during the season. The Chippewa defense would be tested as it faced a powerful San Jose State offense in quarterback Ralph Martini and running back Sheldon Canley.

The only scoring in the first quarter would come on the opening drive as San Jose scored on a 5-yard run by Canley.

The Spartans added a field goal after pinning CMU deep in its own territory and forcing the Chippewas to punt from the end zone. A surprise on-side kick attempt by San Jose then failed, and the Chippewas started a drive at the CMU 45-yard line. On the first play of that drive, Jeff Bender hit Ken Ealy along the sideline for a 55-yard touchdown. Central then had a great opportunity to take the lead when San Jose fumbled the kickoff at its own 14-yard line. However, on a fourth-and-1 at the 5-yard line, tailback Billy Smith was stopped for a loss of 1 yard. San Jose would manage to put 16 more points on the board in the quarter to take a 26-7 halftime lead.

After a CMU field goal early in the third quarter, Canley added two more rushing touchdowns and one receiving to give San Jose a 48-10 lead early in the fourth. Bender and Ealy later connected for touchdown strikes of 48 and 17 yards after the outcome had already been decided. Canley was named San Jose’s game MVP, and Ealy earned the honor for CMU. 

Game Statistics

  1 2 3 4 Final
CMU 0 7 3 14 24
SJSU 7 19 15 7 48
Attendance - 25,431  

Team   Qt.   Play  
SJSU   1   Canley 5-yard run (Bowen PAT)  
SJSU   2   Bowen 37-yard field goal
CMU   2   Ealy 55-yard pass from Bender (Nicholl PAT)  
SJSU   2   Canley 22-yard run (Bowen PAT)
SJSU   2   Blackmon 25-yard pass from Martini (run failed)  
SJSU   2   Bowen 25-yard field goal
CMU   3   Nicholl 27-yard field goal  
SJSU   3   Canley 59-yard run (Martini pass to Blackmon)  
SJSU   3   Canley 5-yard run (Bowen PAT)  
SJSU   4   Canley 5-yard pass from Martini (Bowen PAT)
CMU   4   Ealy 48-yard pass from Bender (Nicholl PAT)
CMU   4   Ealy 17-yard pass from Bender (Nicholl PAT)  

    CMU   SJSU
First Downs   13   28
Rushing Attempts   29   45
Net Rushing   63   200
Net Passing   220   442
Passes Attempted   25   43
Passes Completed   14   32
Interceptions   1   1
Total Plays   54   88
Total Net Yards   283   642
Fumbles/Lost   1/1   2/1
Penalties/Yards   4/30   12/118
Time of Possession   22:49   37:11

Billy Smith 20-37, Leo Griffin 1-11, Darnell Rush 3-10, John Hood 3-7, Joe Connolly 1-3, Jeff Bender 1-(-5)
Shaldon Canley 23-164, Maceo Barbosa 8-16, Ralph Martini 3-16, Chip Vargas 3-13, Leon Hawthorne 3-4, Blair Zerr 1-3, Mike Jordan 1-2, Byron Jackson 1-(-7), Walter Brooks 1-(-11)

Jeff Bender 14-25-1 for 220
Ralph Martini 27-36-1 for 404, Mike Jordan 5-7-0 for 38

Ken Ealy 7-161, Robert Kench 4-36, Bryan Tice 2-17, Billy Smith 1-6
Sheldon Canley 5-44, David Blakes 4-95, Byron Jackson 4-69, Maceo Barbosa 4-56, Bobby Blackmon 3-50, Bryce Burnett 3-40, Walter Brooks 3-14, Gary Charlton 2-46, Leon Hawthorne 2-12, Chip Vargas 1-9, Rich Sarlatte 1-7