YPSILANTI, Mich. —- A perfect day to watch a football game in the month of October, mild temperature, blue sky and sunshine and Eastern Michigan University football especially the Homecoming game.
The tradition of celebrating Homecoming started way back in the year of 1926 when the Eastern Michigan University known then as Michigan Normal College defeated Kalamazoo College 19-0. The Eagles Homecoming record is 44-38-2; including winning the last four of the last seven contests.
Eastern Michigan University created a party atmosphere and the Eagles responded with a display of running and passing not seen by the Eagle fans in long time and Eastern Michigan University defeated Western Michigan University 14-10 to create a small two game winning streak.
Eastern Michigan University football coach Ron English wanted his team to be physical up front on the line of scrimmage and move people to open holes for the running game but it was the ability of the Eagle defense to stop the run and close the holes made the victory more than a dream.
Western Michigan University offense looking at a fourth and one at the 1-yard line, Bronco coach Bill Cubit called upon tailback Tevin Drake and what he felt was the right play called for the right player.
Drake started toward the line of scrimmage only to be met by Eagle strong linebacker Bryan Pali and linebacker Nate Paopao they both teamed up and stopped Drake before he could gain any steam and get to the line of scrimmage or the goal line.
“I thought that Latarrius Thomas made two or three huge plays to get there were some guys that executed they covered the guys that they were supposed to cover it certainly was a team effort,” English said about his defensive effort. “You want to give yourself a chance and you keep playing and we tackled well.”
The Eagles used the four-prong running attack of Dominique White, Javonti Greene, Dominique Sherrer and Eagle quarterback Alex Gillett helped the rushing game for English.
Sherrer sprained his ankle during the second game of the season against Alabama State University came back against the Broncos leading the Eagles with 86 yards.
Eastern Michigan University has rushed 1,809 yards and 16 touchdowns on 367 carries for the 15th-best ground game in the NCAA.
Greene scored two touchdowns for the da,y the first touchdown he ran 50 yards after catching a swing pass from Gillett and the second score of the day came when he run 50 yards.
Greene is getting used scoring from 50 yards because he has four in his career. Last season at the University of Virginia he scored on runs of 53 and 51 yards.
Greene finished the game against the Broncos with 61 yards while carrying the ball 13 times.
The Eagles running game rushed and gained 205 yards and one touchdown.
“I did not think we looked healthy,” English said about his running game at the start of the game.
Gillett passing game used sparingly by English gained 144 yards but Gillett was sacked twice. Gillett leading receiver for the game Nick Olds made two catches for 71 yards.
Western Michigan University quarterback Alex Carder thought that Eastern Michigan University defense play looked better than last season’s team.
“It is a good secondary, they fly around,” Carder said. “They were aggressive and they played better than last year.”
Carder finished the game throwing 34 times and completing 24 passes for 198 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions.
“Well I’m a dreamer, I dreamed about this, I believe that it is going to get better and better here and bigger and bigger,” English said about the program’s development. “I am glad for the people that are involved.”
The Eagles will take next Saturday off with the bye and get back to work the following week to play Ball State University, Saturday November 5, 2011 beginning at noon at the coziest football stadium in the Mid-American Conference and the home of the Eagles Rynearson Stadium.
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.