Toledo Beats Ball State

Toledo and Ball State had another epic battle on the football field, with the Rockets coming out on top 37-30 after senior QB Aaron Opelt and senior wide receiver Stephen Williams connected on a 51 yard touchdown pass with just 27 seconds left in the game. The Rockets improved to 3-2 overall and 1-0 in the MAC. Read on for a game recap and quotes.

Muncie, IN - It was a back and forth game that was not decided until the end. UT senior quarterback hit senior wide receiver Stephen Williams on a 51 yard touchdown pass with 27 seconds remaining to lift the Toledo Rockets to a 37-30 victory over the Ball State Cardinals.

Toledo led 29-22 late in the fourth quarter when Ball State scored a touchdown with 42 seconds to play. Ball State head coach Stan Parrish elected to go for the win and the two point conversion. Using the "Statue of Liberty" play that Boise State made famous in their Fiesta Bowl victory over Oklahoma a couple of years ago, Ball State running back MiQuale Lewis took the hand-off around the left side and into the end zone for a 30-29 lead for the Cardinals.

Toledo returned the kickoff to their 49 yard line to setup the game-winning play. With 35 seconds to play, Opelt dropped back and found Stephen Williams streaking open down the left sideline. Opelt threw a perfect ball and Williams streaked into the end zone with 27 seconds left.

With the score 35-30, UT head coach Tim Beckman decided to go for two. Opelt found true freshman wide receiver Eric Page open in the end zone for the two points, giving Toledo a 37-30 lead. Then with just a few seconds to go, LB Beau Brudzinki intercepted BSU quarterback Kelly Page, putting the game away.

"We knew we weren't going to lose it," Stephen Williams said in the post game press conference. "Coach called my number and told me to make a play. I ran my route, Aaron threw a perfect ball and the o-line did a perfect job of blocking."

During the final seconds when Ball State got the ball back, the Rocket sideline gathered together. "We all had our arms linked on the sideline at the end," said senior quarterback Aaron Opelt. He continued, "we all believe in each other. This team is one, we're together and we're working hard. I'm proud of the guys."

Opelt had another big game for Toledo, completing 30 of 38 passes for 422 yards and five touchdowns, with just one interception.

Stephen Williams caught two 51 yard touchdown passes in the 4th quarter. For the game he had 10 receptions for 231 yards and two touchdowns. True freshman receiver Eric Page also had a big game with 11 receptions for 152 yards and one touchdown.

The Rockets had 479 yards of total offense. The were 5 of 11 on 3rd down conversions and converted on their only 4th down attempt. They scored touchdowns on both of their red zone opportunities.

Despite giving up 30 points, the Rocket defense played a solid game. Toledo recorded five sacks in the game. They also held Ball State to less than 50% on 3rd downs with 7 of 16 conversions. Ball State also was held to just 76 yards rushing and a 2.0 yards per carry average.

"It was a great way to start MAC play and hopefully it continues," said UT senior safety Barry Church.

Toledo improved to 3-2 overall and 1-0 in the MAC. At 3-2, the Rockets are above .500 for the first time since finishing the 2005 season with a 9-3 record.

Next Saturday Toledo hosts Western Michigan in UT's homecoming game. The game is scheduled for a 7:00pm ET start time.



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