MUNCIE, Ind. — The winner of Saturday’s afternoon game was the weather person in central Indiana; the sun bathed the field at Scheumann Stadium a perfect day for a football game.
Eastern Michigan University and Ball State University slugged it out like two heavyweight fighter and at the end of regulation the score tied 35 for each team and it required an extra time to get a winner
Eastern Michigan University looked like it would be knocked out but the Eagles stumbled through and threw haymaker of it’s own for 12 yards and the 18-game losing streak is now history.
Eastern Michigan University defeated the Ball State University Cardinals, 41-38, in overtime to send the 10,956 Cardinal fans into the night shaking there head.
Ball State University football coach Stan Parrish said his team was recognizable for a while but then lost sight of the goal.
“We let that thing get out of hand way before the overtime,” Parrish said. “We could have salvaged it but we could not. We got what we deserved”
Eastern Michigan won the coin flip and elected to play defense in the overtime period.
Ball State University moved the ball enough to get the ball in front of the goal post. Cardinal place kicker Ian McGarvey put his right foot into the ball and lifted toward the goal post crossbar from 44 yards away to give the Cardinals a short life.
Eastern Michigan University stepped up to the line of scrimmage for their chance at the overtime period.
The Cardinal defense stopped the Eagles running game on two consecutive tries forcing a third down and 14 yards to go for a first down. Gillett dropped back to pass and found nobody open to the left side of the field, Gillett took off to the right and scrambled for 15 yards for a first down and gave new life for the Eagles.
The Eagles were down to the last play and 12 yards away from the end zone, when Eastern Michigan University offensive coordinator Ken Karcher reached into the playbook and lifted out a prayer and a play.
Eagle’s tight end Ben Thayer streaked straight up the seam and worked behind his defender and the pass from Gillett floated downward and nestled into Thayer’s waiting arms scoring the game winning touchdown.
Gillett ran his way into the Eastern Michigan University record books and to the first victory for the Eagles. Gillett ran 35 times for 189 yards and threw for 225 yards and three touchdowns.
The attempt of rushing and the yardage places Gillett at the top of the record book for quarterbacks at Eastern Michigan University.
Eastern Michigan University football coach Ron English after the game sat in a corner of the locker room with grin, like the weight of the world had been lifted off of his shoulder.
“We showed some character and that is what we were trying to do,” English said. “It is a game of character.”
The Eagles offense went back to the beginning and played an option style of control game and keeping the ball in Gillett’s capable hands.
“He has been banged up,” English said about Gillett after the game. “We could not let that out but we need to keep the ball in his hands.”
The Eagles gave up 14 unanswered points early in the contest but managed to score two touchdowns and got back into the game but the special team did not play special by giving away a 92 yard kick off return by Eric Williams for a touchdown ending the first half scoring for Ball State.
The Eagles fell behind by 21 points on two occasions but the Eagles offense played over the defensive mistakes.
English said his defense did some good things and they showed some growth in understanding the philosophy.
The Indiana sunset ended the perfect day, the harvest of corn finished the farming and in the Hoosier state, Eastern Michigan University found there field of dreams.
Next week the Eagles will be taking their one game winning streak to the Atlantic Coast Conference and the University of Virginia as the show on the road continues. The kickoff is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.
About the Author
Written by Mel Suiter
Graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 2002 and have been working as a beat writer for The Ypsilanti Courier covering Eastern Michigan University football and men's basketball during my school career and after graduation. I like the Mid-American Conference and the rest of the mid-major conferences.