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(Thursday, August 30th)
Final Score: Ball State 37, Eastern Michigan 26
Muncie, IN (Sports Network) - Jahwan Edwards erupted for a career-high 200 yards rushing and three touchdowns to lead the Ball State Cardinals to a 37-26 victory over the Eastern Michigan Eagles in a Mid-American Conference clash to open the season at Scheumann Stadium.
Horactio Banks added 63 yards on 14 carries for Ball State (1-0, 1-0 MAC) which ran the ball 55 times for 329 yards as a team. Keith Wenning completed 26-of-41 passes for 267 yards for the Cardinals. Jamill Smith was Wenning's favorite target on the night, the junior catching seven passes for 119 yards.
Eastern Michigan's (0-1, 0-1) Alex Gillett threw for 191 yards and three scores but completed only 15-of-34 of his pass attempts. The senior also led the Eagles in rushing, carrying the ball 11 times for 81 yards and a touchdown.
Ball State got off to a fast start and led 10-0 at the end of the first quarter after a seven-yard rushing touchdown by Edwards and a 52-yard field goal from Steven Schott.
That lead wouldn't last however, as EMU responded in the second quarter with a pair of touchdown passes from Gillett.
On the first, Gillett hit Donald Scott for an eight-yard score to cut the lead to 10-7. The second was a 23-yard strike to Garrett Hoskins but Kody Fulkerson's PAT was blocked, leaving the score at 13-10.
The teams went into the half tied 13-13 after Schott nailed a 29-yard field goal just seconds before the second quarter came to an end.
It was Edwards who opened the scoring in the second half with another career benchmark. The sophomore running back ran a career-long 75 yards to the end zone putting Ball State up 20-13.
The Cardinals made it 27-13 on their next drive, thanks to an eight-yard rushing TD by Banks. The points kept coming for BSU on its next possession when Edwards found the end zone yet again on a three-yard run that stretched the Cardinals' lead to 34-13.
The fourth quarter began with much of the same as Schott connected on a 19- yard field goal set up by a 42-yard run by Edwards. EMU's offense finally woke up from there, the Eagles cutting into the lead on Gillett's third touchdown pass of the game, a seven-yard completion to Mitchell Dawkins. The Eagles then failed on a two-point conversion attempt, making the score 37-19.
Gillett scored himself on the Eagles next possession on a 16-yard run. With the extra point Eastern Michigan found itself down 37-26 but would be unable to get any closer.
The 11-point margin of victory was the largest in the series since 2008. Each of the previous three meetings were decided by three points or less.
08/31 00:05:39 ET
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