OXFORD, Ohio—Miami University's football team held a 9-7 lead midway through the third quarter, but two late second-half touchdowns by Central Michigan University handed the Chippewas a 21-9 win on Saturday afternoon at Yager Stadium.
Miami (0-5; 0-1 Mid-American Conference) took a 3-0 lead with 4:28 left in the first quarter when sophomore kicker Kaleb Patterson booted a 40-yard field goal, his first made field goal of the season in just his second attempt of 2013.
The RedHawks carried the lead into the second quarter until the Chippewas (2-4; 1-1 MAC) scored a touchdown on a 16-yard run by Saylor Lavallii with 10:45 to go in the first half. The Ron Coluzzi extra point gave CMU a 7-3 lead.
Immediately following the Central Michigan touchdown, the game went into a 48-minute delay due to lighting in the area. The game resumed at 2:39 p.m.
After notching three first downs over eight plays, Miami fumbled on second and 19 from its 32-yard line. The Chippewas’ Jeremy Gainer recovered at the Miami 20-yard line and threatened to add to its lead. Senior defensive tackle Wes Williams recorded his second sack of the day on third down, and CMU attempted a 38-yard field goal, which went wide right.
Bolstered by a 48-yard run by quarterback Austin Gearing—the longest play for the RedHawks this season—Miami drove to the CMU 29-yard line. On fourth-and-six, Patterson attempted a 46-yard field goal but missed wide left, leaving the RedHawks trailing by four points.
The RedHawks took a 9-7 lead after freshman TJ Williams forced a fumble on a punt return that sophomore long snapper Bryce Lehwald recovered on the Central Michigan 15-yard line. Senior quarterback Austin Boucher rushed five yards to get the ball down to the 10-yard line before hitting junior wide receiver David Frazier in the endzone for the touchdown at the 8:31 mark of the third quarter. Miami’s attempt to go for two was thwarted, giving the RedHawks a two-point cushion.
CMU regained the lead when the Chippewas capped a 16-play, 84-yard drive with 45 seconds to go in the third quarter on a three-yard run by Lavallii. A good extra point gave CMU a 14-9 lead. At the 6:13 mark of the fourth quarter, CMU extended its lead to 21-9 on a Maurice Shoemaker-Gilmore 16-yard touchdown run.
Boucher passed for 161 yards, completing 12-of-26 attempts with no interceptions, while Gearing led the RedHawks with 108 yards rushing on 15 carries.
Defensively, sophomore linebacker Kent Kern led all players with 12 tackles and had six solo stops. The RedHawk defense amassed three sacks. Senior linebacker Chris Wade had an interception, while the RedHawks forced three fumbles and recovered one.
Miami hits the road next weekend, playing at Massachusetts on Oct. 12 at 3 p.m.