Andy Sneddon, CMUChippewas.com
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. – Jonathan Ward ran for a career-high 159 yards and scored two touchdowns on Wednesday as Central Michigan downed Eastern Michigan, 42-30, in a Mid-American Conference football game at Kelly/Shorts Stadium.
The win lifted CMU to 6-4, making it bowl eligible for the 10th time in the last 12 seasons. The Chippewas are 4-2 in the MAC and plays at Kent State on Tuesday, Nov. 14 (7 p.m.). Eastern is 3-7, 1-5.
It was the second-consecutive big game for Ward, who also caught one pass for 27 yards to finish with 186 yards on 20 touches from scrimmage. Last week, he sparked CMU to a 35-28 win over Western Michigan with 213 all-purpose yards.
Chippewa quarterback Shane Morris finished 11 of 18 passing for 155 yards and three touchdowns.
Two of his scoring passes went to Corey Willis, who finished with six receptions for 71 yards. Willis has a team-high seven TD receptions this season. Six have come in the last three games.
Eastern Michigan scored on the first play of the game when Maxx Crosby sacked CMU quarterback Shane Morris, forcing a fumble. Crosby recovered the fumble and rumbled 14 yards for a score.
The Chippewas responded with four touchdowns sandwiched around an Eagle field goal.
Morris hit Tyler Conklin with a 4-yard scoring pass to tie the game 7-7 with under five minutes to play in the first quarter. Ward put the Chippewas in front, 14-7, with a career-long 79-yard scoring run just over a minute after Conklin’s TD catch.
After an Eastern field goal, Morris connected with Willis twice, to put the Chippewas up 28-18 with just over four minutes to play in the first half.
Ward scored on a 3-yard run early in the third quarter to make it 35-17.
The Chippewas intercepted Eastern quarterback Brogan Roback five times, the last with under a minute to play and returned 33 yards for the game-clinching touchdown by Amari Coleman after the Eagles had drawn to 35-30.
Sophomore cornerback Sean Bunting had two of the picks, while Josh Cox and Alex Briones had one each.