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Akron Zips at Ohio Bobcats: Ohio clinches MAC East title with 9-3 victory over Zips

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In a low scoring affair, Ohio held off Akron to clinch a spot in the MAC Championship Game in Detroit

Ohio v Toledo Photo by Andrew Weber/Getty Images

The Ohio Bobacts are headed to Motor City.

With Tuesday night’s 9-3 win over the Akron Zips, the Bobcats punched their first ticket to the Mid-American Conference’s Championship Game since the 2011 season.

Even though Tuesday evening’s game turned out to be a defensive battle, it didn’t seem like it was headed that way in the early minutes.

Ohio carved their way through Akron’s defense to take a 3-0 lead on an early field goal.

After the first drive, offensive outbursts were few and far between.

Once Ohio kicker Louie Zervos nailed his second field goal, a long 49-yarder, with 2:54 remaining in the first quarter, neither team saw points put on the board until midway through the third when Akron kicker Tom O’Leary drilled a 35-yard field goal to cut Ohio’s lead in half.

The Bobcats cemented the eventual final score with an efficient 8 play, 83 yard drive that took 3:55 off the clock, and would force the Zips to find the end zone with just 2:59 left in the ballgame.

But Akron would have a chance. Akron quarterback Tyrell Goodman set up receiver JoJo Nelson with a chance to haul in the game’s likely winning touchdown, but he failed to make the play.

No rusher on either side gained over 100 yards on the ground, with game leader, Ohio’s Maleek Irons going for 54 yards on 11 carries. Akron was led by Manny Morgan with 47 yards on 8 rushes.

Goodman finished 12-27 for 131 yards, while Ohio quarterback Quinton Maxwell tossed for 169 yards and 14 completions on 25 attempts through the air.

Ohio meets Western Michigan or Toledo next for the Marathon MAC Championship Game at Ford Field, while Akron’s season is likely over, barring a bowl bid with their 5-7 record.