Offensive Attack Grounds the Cardinals

Saturday afternoon, in front of 8,662 fans, the smallest crowd at Waldo Stadium this season, the Broncos ended a four game losing streak with a 28-20 win over the Ball State Cardinals. The Broncos defense and offense played one of their strongest games of the season in a game that saw the Broncos hold on to the ball and win the turnover battle.

The Broncos were led by fifth year senior quarterback Jon Drach who put together one of his best games of his career. "Jon actually had better numbers last week," Head Coach Gary Darnell said. On the afternoon Drach completed all but 3 of his 23 passes. His 20 completions went for 250 yards and four touchdowns. Coach Darnell added, "One thing we have been able to do and Jon has been good at is playing within his limits. There is a lot of things Jon can do and we try to use him in those situations." One thing Drach didn't do was throw any interceptions and the team had no turnovers despite having one fumble.

The Broncos added 167 yards on the ground with Phil Reed gaining 109 of those yards (100 of his yards coming in the first half). "When you have to guys who can run the ball effectively, it changes everything," Darnell said. "Phil had over 100 yards and Jon had over 40 (46 yards to be exact) at the quarterback position. Jon can run the ball and we have some plays designed to take advantage of it. It affects ball control and possession time which are both very important," Darnell added.

The Cardinals Head Coach Brady Hoke felt his team was prepared for the Broncos running game. "WE couldn't stop the run today. We tried to address that area and as a result weren't able to get the quarterback pressure we would like." Brady continued, "They did a nice job of executing offensively and we didn't defend it like we wanted."

In the four Broncos scoring drives it to the Broncos less than three minutes. The first drive took 1:48 with Reed starting the drive with a 50 yard run. Doug Owusu made a touchdown saving tackle when he was able to grab a hold of Reed's ankles just long enough to trip him up. Drach followed that with a 23 yard run of his own and two plays later hit Antonio Thomas with a twelve yard pass for the opening touchdown.

Kendrick Mosley led all receivers while extending his streak of consecutive games with catching at least one pass to 40 games. Mosley caught 6 passes for 117 yards and one touchdown. His touchdown was a highlight play of its own. Mosley was able to break a couple tackles and made a couple of moves to get by the Cardinals secondary for a 44 yard touchdown. Gregg Jennings and Tyson DeVree scored the Broncos other two touchdowns on 24 and 9 yard pass plays of their own.

For the Cardinals offensively they used a running by committee philosophy to gain a combined 111 yards on the ground. Quarterback Talmadge Hill led the Cardinals with 51 yards on the ground and one touchdown, a two yard run for the Cardinals first score of the game. Despite allowing Hill to throw for 255 yards, the Broncos defense held strong and didn't allow him to throw for any touchdowns.

It wasn't until late in the fourth quarter with Andy Roesch in at quarterback that the Cardinals were able to get a touchdown through the air. Following a pass interference call on the Broncos in the endzone Roesch hooked up with Michael Steinhaus for a one yard touchdown pass.

The Cardinals added two field goals by Brian Jackson. Both field goals of 29 and 27 yards respectively came in the third quarter.

Adam Anderson continued his climb up the Broncos record book finishing the game with a 49.0 average yards per punt. It put him right behind Dale Livingston who is in third place on the all-time list with a 49.9 average against Brigham Young in 1967.

Defensively for the Broncos Kevin Ford led the team with 13 tackles and a forced fumble. Jack Gitler recorded the games only sack and the Cardinals Justin Berriault led all tacklers with 14 tackles.

The Cardinals (4-6, 3-3 MAC) will travel to Eastern Michigan next Saturday the take on an Eagles squad that earned its first win over a D-IA team this season by defeating UCF 19-13.

The Broncos (4-6, 3-3 MAC) stay home for the second straight week to take on rival Central Michigan. The Chippewas are coming off a 40-28 loss to the Akron Zips. Game time is scheduled for 2:00pm. This game will mark the final home game of the season for the Broncos, the final home game for the seniors and the final home game as the Bronco Marching Band, band director for William Pease. Mr. Pease will be leaving WMU to take over as the band director at the University of Virginia.

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