MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. – The Presbyterian College football team trailed 14-3 at the halftime but Central Michigan proved too much for the Blue Hose, as the Chippewas pulled away in the second half for the 49-3 victory on Thursday night at Kelly/Shorts Stadium.
Head Coach Harold Nichols’s Take
“It was 14-3 at the half so we were in the ballgame. We had two turnovers that hurt us, including that pick six late. We finally got a drive going late in the first half and got the field goal but we just couldn’t get anything going in the second half. We had a lot of three-and-outs and you aren’t going to beat a good team like Central Michigan doing that so congrats to them. I think they will win their fair share of football games this season. We are just not where we need to be and need to make a lot of improvements from week one to week two.”
Central Michigan used a pair of touchdowns in the third quarter to pull away from the Blue Hose in what was a close ballgame throughout the first half. The Chippewas got a 12-yard touchdown run from Jahray Hayes midway through the quarter, before Cooper Rush found Corey Willis for a 46-yard touchdown on the following drive to make it 28-3 at the time.
How It Happened
Central Michigan opened the game with a 69-yard touchdown run by Devin Spalding on the second play of the game to take an early 7-0 lead. The Blue Hose would keep the Chippewas out of the endzone until midway through the second quarter when Jahray Hayes scored on a two-yard run to cap off a seven-play scoring drive to make it 14-0. PC was able to use a Grant Beidel interception late in the first half to convert to a Brett Norton 36-yard field goal to cut the lead to 14-3 at the half.
The Chippewas used their two third-quarter scores to extend the lead to 28-3 with just over three minutes remaining in the quarter. The Blue Hose struggled to find any momentum on offense in the second half and were unable to answer the two CMU touchdowns.
Central Michigan tacked on 21 points to tip the score in a much more one-sided fashion than it actually was for much of the game. Hayes scored his third touchdown of the game on an eight-yard run early in the fourth quarter, before Amari Coleman returned an interception for a touchdown on the ensuing PC drive. The Chippewas capped it off with a 45-yard touchdown run by Jonathan Ward midway through the fourth quarter. Rush led Central Michigan with 267 passing yards and one touchdown on 16 completions, while Devon Spalding rushed for 135 yards and one touchdown on 15 carries.
Ben Cheek completed a career-high 10 passes on 22 attempts for 82 yards through the air. He also rushed 10 times for four yards to total 86 yards of total offense.
Jaylen Lindsay made his first career in tonight’s game and finished with a team-high nine tackles and his first career interception. He also added a sack and a tackle for loss in the loss.
- Brett Norton made his first field goal of the season, a 36-yard attempt, to get PC on the board in the first half. The field goal was the longest of his career, surpassing the previous long of 34 yards from last season.
- Cheek established a new career high for completions (10) and passing attempts (22) in his sixth career start at quarterback.
- DaShawn Davis continued to be a versatile player, recording 92 all-purpose yards with 49 kickoff return yards, 28 receiving yards and 16 punt return yards.
- Grant Beidel and Jaylen Lindsay each recorded an interception in the game, the first of their respective careers. Lindsay also recorded the first sack of his career to go with a career-high nine tackles. Beidel finished with seven tackles in a solid effort.
- Kamren Mack recorded a team-high 2.0 sacks as a part of his five tackles on the night. It was a single-game high for the senior defensive tackle.
- The defense held the Chippewas to just 3-of-9 on third downs in tonight’s game. The Blue Hose also recorded a pair of interceptions and totaled four sacks.
Presbyterian plays its second of three road games to start the season when it travels to Chattanooga on Saturday, September 10 for a 2 p.m. meeting with the Mocs.