On Halloween, the Ball State Cardinals visited the Glass Bowl for a MAC showdown with the Toledo Rockets.
At 4-4 on the season, the Rockets looked to move to over .500 with just a few games remaining. Ball State on the other hand, is reeling at 3-6.
The Rocket defense got going early when Willie Ross recovered a Ball State fumble to give UT possession.
With the ball and new-found momentum, the Rockets scored off of a 19-yard touchdown run from Bryant Koback to vault the Rockets in front,
After a nice defensive stand, the dynamic Rocket offense took the field again led by quarterback Eli Peters. In a quick three-play drive, thanks to a massive catch and a run of 57 yards by wideout Diontae Johnson, the Rockets punched in their second touchdown of the game, this time from a yard out on the heels of Art Thompkins, pushing their lead to 14-0.
Immediately following this touchdown, the Rockets defense flexed their muscles once again. On a third down, a Rockets’ blitz got back to Plitt and forced a sack fumble. The ball ricocheted into the end zone, where it was pounced on by Rocket defender Tuzar Skipper for yet another touchdown, making the score 21-0, and creating a very haunting Halloween for the visiting Ball State.
Ball State ran a five-play, 75-yard drive; they found the end zone when Plitt connected with wideout Riley Miller to cut the Rocket lead to 21-7 early in the second quarter.
Peters and the Rockets capitalized off of an interception, picking apart the Cardinal defense with beautiful throws and catches to Johnson and Terry Gilliam. The drive was capped off by a three-yard touchdown run by Koback to expand the Rocket lead to 28-7 going into the half.
The Rocket offense was able to bleed the third quarter to its near entirety, but had to settle for a Jameson Vest field goal.
Vest’s 29-yarder gave him the most made field goals in school history, extending the Rocket lead to 31-7. On its ensuing drive, Ball State would strike quickly by getting into the end zone but failing a two-point conversion, making the score 31-13 Rockets.
After an ill-fated onside kick, the Rockets took over with great field position and were able to strike right back. The strike came on a screen pass to Cody Thompson who did the rest to increase the score to 38-13 in favor of the home team.
The Rockets would add another score in the closing minutes, a Peters touchdown strike to Bryce Mitchell set the final at 45-13 for the Rockets.
It was a complete performance on both sides of the ball for the victors. Head coach Jason Candle said afterwards, “Real proud of our team’s effort, I thought we really handled this week well.”
The 5-4 Rockets will be on the road for a massive MAC West competition against Northern Illinois 7:00 p.m. Nov. 7 in Dekalb, Illinois.