What a difference a year can make.
On Black Friday in 2018, the Toledo Rockets embarassed the Central Michigan Chippewas at the Glass Bowl 51-13 to put a cap on a program-worst 1-11 (0-8 MAC) season, resulting in the firing of beloved head coach and CMU football alumnus John Bonamego after four seasons.
It’s safe to say the favor was returned on Friday afternoon in front of the national television cameras, as the Central Michigan Chippewas (8-5, 6-2 MAC) ran the Toledo Rockets (6-6, 3-5 MAC) off the field by a final score of 49-7 in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan.
The win secures Central Michigan’s first outright MAC West title since the 2009 MAC Championship season, and will see the Chippewas represent the West in the title game at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan, to play the Miami RedHawks (7-5, 6-2 MAC.)
The game on Friday afternoon wasn’t even close, with CMU scoring 21 points in the first 18 minutes, and Toledo unable to find the scoreboard until the 2:12 mark of the second quarter, with the score already at the 28-0 mark.
Tyrone Scott opened up the CMU scoring account, hauling in a deep bomb from Quinten Dormady for a 48-yard touchdown with 9:01 to go in the first quarter to put CMU up 7-0. After an exchange of possessions, CMU pushed the pace on a seven-play, 96 yard drive over 1:46 and scored on a one-yard touchdown run by short-yardage quarterback Tommy Lazzaro to push the score to 14-0 at the 3:59 mark of the first quarter.
Lazzaro called his own number again on CMU’s next possession, this time on a eight-yard run to put CMU up 21-0 at the 12:12 mark of the second quarter. An offsides call on Toledo after a Ryan Tice field goal attempt from 25 yards out to give CMU a second chance at scoring, which they did, converting on a Jonathan Ward three-yard touchdown run to go up 28-0.
Toledo’s first score of the day would come on the possession after, with a three-yard run by Bryant Koback off a 10-play, 68-yard drive. Kobe Lewis would be the last player to score before the half, reaching the endzone on a two-yard run with :14 to go to put the score at 35-7.
The third quarter was relatively uneventful from a scoring standpoint, with Tony Poljan scoring on a nine-yard redzone reception to put the score at 42-7. Kobe Lewis put a nice little bow on the proceedings late in the fourth quarter with his second touchdown run of the day to put the score at its final of 49-7.
It was a struggle for Toledo in all aspects, as they only put up 256 yards of offense (83 on the ground) in comparison to 552 yards allowed in the game. They even allowed a special teams touchdown on a 80-yard punt return by Kalil Pimpleton before a penalty on a CMU gunner bailed out the Toledo coverage unit.
CMU set a program record in the victory, surpassing the 2009 Central Michigan team for most points scored at Kelly/Shorts Stadium in a season (253 in five games), and setting the new mark at 264 (in six games).
Toledo will await their postseason fate on Sunday, as they’re at 6-6 and dependent on bowl bids going unfilled to have a chance to play. CMU, meanwhile, will play the MAC East champion Miami RedHawks, who are coming off a hard loss against Ball State, on Friday, Dec. 7 at noon Eastern time in Detroit, Michigan, to determine the Mid-American Conference champions.
- QB Carter Bradley: 15-of-23, 123 yards
- QB Dequan Finn: 4-of-7, 52 yards
- RB Bryant Koback: 13 attempts, 22 yards, one touchdown
- WR Bryce Mitchell: five receptions, 63 yards
- WR Danzel McKinley-Lewis: five recpetions, 38 yards
- S Tycen Anderson: nine tackles, one tackle-for-loss
- LB Daniel Bolden: seven tackles
- LB Dyontae Johnson: three tackles, two tackles-for-loss
- DE Desjuan Johnson: three tackles, three tackles-for-loss
Central Michigan offense:
- QB Quinten Dormady: 15-of-19, 250 yards, two touchdowns
- QB Tommy Lazzaro: 1-of-2, 13 passing yards; five rushes for 32 yards, two touchdowns
- RB Jonathan Ward: 13 carries, 88 yards, one touchdown
- RB Kobe Lewis: 22 carries, 131 yards, two touchdowns
- WR JaCorey Sullivan: five receptions, 83 yards
- WR Tyrone Scott: two receptions, 58 yards, one touchdown
- TE Tony Poljan: two receptions, 47 yards, one touchdown
Central Michigan defense:
- MLB Michael Oliver: eight tackles, one tackle-for-loss
- S Da’Quaun Jamison: six tackles, two tackles-for-loss, two passes defensed
- DE Chuck Jones: six tackles, two tackles-for-loss
- S Alonzo McCoy/CB Kyron McKinnie-Harper: one pass defensed each
- DT Robi Stuart: three tackles, two tackles-for-loss, one sack