Toledo went out to an early three-touchdown lead and never let Akron back into the game at home this afternoon, defeating the Zips 48-21.
Toledo started with the ball at their own 40. Logan Woodside completed to Jon’Vea Johnson for 22 yards into Akron territory and again to Diontae Johnson for 28 to the Akron 9-yard line, but the second play was called back on an ineligible receiver penalty. Terry Swanson made up some yards on the ground, driving to the Akron 24-yard line for a first down. Woodside connected with Jon’Vea Johnson again in the end zone on the next play to put the Rockets on the board. The extra point made it 7-0 to Toledo with 11:33 left in the first quarter.
Akron went three-and-out, and Toledo got the ball back at their own 30. Diontae Johnson got the ball across midfield on the first play of the drive, and Swanson converted another first down on the second. The Rockets’ drive was stymied by a interception by Ulysees Gilbert, and the Zips took over at their own 29. Their drive went nowhere fast, and they punted.
Toledo went slow and steady down the field on its third drive until Woodside connected with Desmond Philips on a screen pass for a 40-yard touchdown and a 14-0 lead after the extra point.
Akron quarterback Thomas Woodson was intercepted by Justin Clark at the Akron 35 on the next drive, and the Rockets went to work with good field position. Swanson entered the red zone to the 13, and Woodside hit Danzel McKinley-Lewis for another touchdown.
Akron converted twice on third down on the next drive down 21-0, but the first quarter still ended with the Zips down three touchdowns. Woodside was 8 for 10 through the air for 148 yards, while Woodson was 4 for 12 for 32 yards.
Akron started the second quarter on a high note with Woodson connecting with Kobie Booker for a 25-yard touchdown, bringing the score to 21-7 Toledo after the PAT.
Swanson knifed through the Akron defense for a first down on the Rockets’ drive, and again for 19 to the Akron 21. Jameson Vest hit a 40-yard field goal to conclude the drive and give Toledo a 24-7 lead. Akron quickly punted after the kickoff, and Toledo took the ball from their own 34 to start their sixth drive of the day. They could not do anything on 3rd and 14, and punted. Toledo caught a big break on the punt, which bounced out of bounds within Akron’s 1-yard line.
Akron took over, and Van Edwards got to the five-yard line to give the Zips some breathing room. Toledo was then called for pass interference on 3rd and 4 to extend the drive. Tra’Von Chapman caught a short pass from Woodson on third down for another drive extension. Woodson later connected with Austin Wolf near the Toledo 26 for a first down. With the clock running nearing the one-minute mark, Akron was faced with a 3rd and 7 at the 23. Woodson quickly found DeMarkus Glover at the one, and Akron called a timeout. After a review, Glover’s reception was ruled incomplete, and the Zips had to settle for a field goal attempt. Tom O’Leary missed wide left, and Akron came up short on a commendable drive.
Toledo took over at their own 23, and Woodside found Swanson for a first down to the 35. The Zips ran out of time for a touchdown on their drive, and Jameson Vest came out to attempt a 55-yard field goal. The kick was no good, and Toledo took a 24-7 lead into halftime.
Toledo continued the offensive fireworks in the third quarter, with Jon’Vea Johnson bringing in another touchdown. The Rockets’ defense showed up too, with Olasunkanmi Adeniyi forcing a fumble and Ja'Wuan Woodley recovering with 4:07 to go in the third. The Rockets were dealt a blow as Adeniyi injured himself on the play, while they gook over at their own 24. Swanson immediately broke for nearly 20 yards on the first play of the new drive. Woodside ran for a first down himself later to bring the ball to the Akron 34, and again to within the 20. After his heroics on the ground, Woodside hurled his fifth touchdown pass of the day to Diontae Johnson. Toledo led after three, 38-7.
Akron’s drive early in the fourth ended in a Chapman touchdown and a pass interference penalty against the Rockets, narrowing Toledo’s lead to 24.
The Rockets deftly eluded coverage to return the ensuing kickoff to their own 45, and started running the ball to eat clock, but a pass to Bryce Mitchell put them within the 20. The Zips forced a fourth down with seven and a half minutes left, making Vest attempt another field goal, which was converted.
Akron backup Robbie Kelley had his moment in the sun in the game’s dwindling minutes, connecting with Kwadarrius Smith for a 47-yard touchdown. Toledo didn’t let up on its next drive, as Shakif Seymour ran 16 yards to the Akron 15 and then 15 yards for a touchdown to make the score 48-21 in favor of the Rockets at the final gun.
The Rockets improve to 6-1, while Akron drops to an even 4-4. Akron hosts Buffalo next Saturday, while Toledo visits Ball State on Thursday night.