Broncos Fall to the Rockets

Saturday night in front of 15,191 fans at the Glass Bowl in Toledo, Ohio the Western Michigan University Broncos dropped their season finale to the Toledo Rockets. The Broncos were looking to extend their winning streak to three games and end a 10 game losing streak at the Glass Bowl.

The Broncos have not won a game in Toledo since the 1988 season. Since that victory at Toledo in 1988 the Broncos have only defeated the Rockets twice and with Saturday's lass they now have an all-time record of 24-34 against the Rockets.

Heading into the fourth quarter yesterday it appeared that the Broncos could possibly end their futility in the Glass Bowl. Trailing 17-20 and with the Rockets threatening to score, Willie Pope picked off a Bruce Gradkowski pass at the Broncos 14 yard line.

However, the Rockets defense stood up and forced the Broncos to go three and out. Pope's interception was the second in a row by the Broncos. Late in the third quarter Mike Giorgianni intercepted a Gradkowski pass at the Broncos 38 yard line but the Rockets defense held the Broncos to a three and out.

Failing to convert the turnovers could have had an affect on the Broncos offensively and defensively. The Rockets were able to put the game away after the Broncos were forced to punt. Following Adam Anderson's 40 yard punt and a 15 yard return by Lance Moore, the Rockets drove 48 yards in 6 plays scoring a touchdown on an 8 yard pass from Gradkowski to Steve Odom.

Odom's touchdown with 6:34 left in the game all but sealed the victory for the Rockets. Sophomore Astin Martin added a 1 yard run for a touchdown late in the 4th quarter to give the Rockets the 34-17 victory.

Despite the loss the Broncos had some bright spots. Playing in his final game as a Bronco, defensive end Jason Babin fell two tackles for loss short of the MAC career record of 77 (Brian Pillman, Miami, 1980-83). Babin finished the game with 5 tackles for loss, two of which were sacks. He moved into sole possession of second place, passing Kenny Philpot (Eastern Michigan, 1998-01) on the MAC career list. Babin also led the Broncos in tackles this season with 113, Kevin Ford finished second with 112 tackles.

The Broncos got touchdowns from senior tight end Anthony Kiner and redshirt sophomore running back Daniel Marks. Kiner caught a short pass from senior quarterback Jon Drach and dragged two Rocket defenders into the endzone with him for a 14 yard touchdown. Marks punched the ball into the endzone from the one yard line late in the third quarter.

Senior Kendrick Mosley finished his Bronco career catching 10 passes for 130 yards. Mosley also finished with extending his consecutive games with catching a pass streak to 42 games.

Drach completed 25 of 35 passes for 262 yards and two touchdowns. He threw 2 interceptions and was sacked twice.

The Broncos finished the season with a 5-7 record but more importantly finished fourth in the MAC West Division with a 4-4 record. Last season the Broncos finished 4-8 (3-5 MAC).

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