Even though Eastern Michigan lost against Toledo last week, they still came into their contest against Akron with a slim chance of playing in the MAC Championship. To accomplish the feat, they woudl have to win out and Toledo would have to lose out— to keep it simple.
Eastern Michigan took care of the first step of that journey by defeating Akron by a score of 34-28 on Tuesday night after a brief fourth-quarter scare.
Eastern Michigan started off the scoring with a Jesus Gomez field goal to make the score 3-0. The Zips were able to take the early lead after D.J. Irons was able to connect with Alex Adams to make the score 7-3. Eastern Michigan was able to take the 10-7 lead after Austin Smith made a forty-yard pass to Dylan Drummond. After picking up a turnover, Eastern Michigan was able to convert it into a Samson Evans running touchdown to make the score 17-7. Akron would come within three after a Cam Wiley run near the end of the half, and EMU would respond once again to push the tally to 24-14 to end the first half.
Eastern Michigan added another seven points after a 24-yard Samson Evans run, but it was a score which involved some controversy, as it was scored just one play after Austin Smith was said to have thrown an incomplete pass on what looked like a 76-yard fumble return touchdown by Tim Terry. EMU would take a 31-14 lead on the 14-point swing.
The Zips then got fairly motivated, scoring the next two touchdowns within two minutes to come within three points of Eastern Michigan again, cutting the score down with two Cam Wiley touchdowns, including a highlight reel 55-yard run. Needing to stop the bleeding, Jesus Gomez would make another field goal to make the final score of 34-28.
Eastern Michigan’s Austin Smith would complete 17-of-29 passes to throw for 192 yards. Samson Evans would get another 100 yard game after he ran for 138 yards tonight. He also got two touchdowns. Eastern Michigan would get three interceptions and only give up one interception. Akron’s D.J. Irons was 10-of-16 for 90 yards (122 total yards) before he was injured. His backup Jeff Undercuffler was 8-of-18 for 133 yards. The Zips leading rusher was Cam Wiley with 144 yards.
Eastern Michigan plays Akron’s neighbor when they travel to Kent State next week. Akron travels to Buffalo.