WMU vs. Ball State Game Recap

In front of a crowd of 12,892 at Ball State Stadium in Muncie, Indiana, a few things became clear early in the 2nd quarter. The game was going to be a defensive battle, a record was going to be broken, and whoever made the least amount of mistakes was going to win.

What wasn't known heading into the game was that the Broncos starting quarterback Chad Munson was going to be pulled in the 2nd quarter after throwing 2 interceptions. The Broncos won the coin toss and deferred to the 3rd quarter.

A 33-yard kick return by Larry Bostic gave the Cardinals the ball at their own 40-yard line. The Cardinals drove down to the Broncos 38-yard line before punting the ball. However the Cardinals caught a break when the ball stop dead at the 5-yard line when it hit the ground. The Broncos and Cardinals then exchanged 3 and outs on the next 2 possessions for both teams. But the Cardinals again caught a couple breaks Kendrick Mosley slipped returning a punt and was tackled at the Broncos 11-yard line and on the next punt Reggie Hodges put the ball in the endzone for a touchback.

Munson was then able to lead the Broncos 80-yards down the field, for the games first touchdown. Mosley started the drive catching a 14-yard pass. On the next play Phil Reed ran for a 12-yard gain followed by a 14-yard reception by Anthony Kiner. Reed rushed the ball on the next two plays gaining 12-yards combined. After an incomplete pass to Jermaine Lewis, Munson connected again with Kiner for a 7-yard gain. On 3 down and 3 yards to go from the BSU 15-yard line, Munson completed a pass in the endzone to Mosley for a 15-yard touchdown giving the Broncos a 7-0 lead.

After the Cardinals next drive stalled on their own 46-yard line, Mosley returned a Hodges punt for 6-yards, to the Broncos 22-yard line to end the first quarter. On the very next play Ball State cornerback Steve Monson picked off a Chad Munson pass at the Broncos 35-yard line and returned it for a touchdown and tying the game up at 7-7.

Two possessions later after a 56-yard Reggie Hodges punt and a 15-yard block in the back penalty put the Broncos at their own 15-yard line, Munson threw his 2nd interception of the game. Cardinal safety Douglas Owusu intercepted a bad pass and returned it 29 yards to the Broncos 6-yard line. The Cardinals placed the ball in tailback Marcus Merriweather's hands on the next two plays, a 4-yard run and a 2-yard run for a touchdown. Merriweather's touchdown gave the Cardinal's a 14-7 lead with 7:24 left in the 2nd quarter. Jon Drach replaced Munson as quarterback following Owusu's interception.

The first half saw several mistakes by the Broncos and two injuries to key players. The Broncos received 3 penalties for a total of 35 yards. However Jason Malloy was injured in the 2nd quarter. It appeared as if he aggravated the injury that he sustained two weeks ago against Bowling Green. Reed apparently aggravated a previous shoulder injury on the Broncos final drive of the first half.

The only scoring in the 2nd half came on the Cardinals first drive. Following a 51-yard punt by Matt Steffen and a 1-yard return. The Cardinals drove down the field to the Broncos 23-yard line before settling with a 40-yard field goal by Mike Langford.

The Broncos saw Tyrone Walker get injured on the 3rd quarter kickoff. Also, Steffen recorded a 59-yard punt in the 3rd quarter, his longest of the season. Steffen also recorded 3 punts for over 50 yards. Western Michigan saw their consecutive game streak of recording a sack end at 33 games. Jon Drach completed over 50% of his passes (14 of 27) for 160 yards and 0 interceptions.

However today, was Merriweather's day. Merriweather recorded 244 yards on 37 carries. Early in the 2nd quarter he became the latest Cardinal to rush for over 1,000 yards in a season, and with 8:09 left in the 3rd quarter, he became the BSU All-Time career rushing leader when he broke a 31-yard run.

The Broncos now begin preparation for next Saturday's game against in-state rivals the Eastern Michigan Eagles.

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