Tettleton, Foster, Cochran help Bobcats pull away in 2nd half
Bass interception turns momentum in favor of Ohio
By Lonnie McMillan / Contributor
Saturday, October 19, 2013
YPSILANTI, Mich. – Tyler Tettleton completed 23 of 30 passes for a career-high 375 yards and four touchdowns and Ohio pulled away from Eastern Michigan in the final 20 minutes, beating the Eagles, 56-28, on a cold, rainy Saturday at Rynearson Stadium.
Eastern Michigan (1-6, 0-3 Mid-American Conference) threatened to take the lead in the third quarter, driving to the Ohio 4-yard line. But Devin Bass picked off Tyler Benz in the end zone and the Bobcats outscored the Eagles 35-7 the rest of the way, beginning with an 80-yard connection from Tettleton to Chase Cochran on the first play after the pick to put Ohio on top, 28-21, at the 4:58 mark.
Travis Carrie’s 37-yard punt return set up the Bobcats’ next score, a 3-yard pass from Tettleton to Donte Foster less than three minutes later. Still in the third quarter, Xavier Hughes picked off Benz and Ohio needed only two plays to find the end zone. Cochran gained 41 yards on a pass play and Beau Blankenship scored from 22 yards away with 19 seconds left in the third quarter.
Foster finished with 11 catches for 143 yards, while Cochran’s three receptions were good for 138 yards. Blankenship ran 12 times for 62 yards.
The teams played just one day after Eastern Michigan wide receiver Demarius Reed was found shot to death in a Ypsilanti apartment complex.
Despite giving up a 90-yard kick return touchdown to Tyler Allen to start the game, Ohio took control in the first half. The Bobcats scored on their first three possessions with Tettleton tying the game with a 14-yard touchdown pass to Marion Dovell.
Tettleton then connected with Matt Waters for a 4-yard touchdown after Cameron McLeod forced a fumble that was recovered by Keith Moore at the Eastern Michigan 30-yard line. Carrie’s first big punt return – a 79-yarder to the 8-yard line – was followed by a Blankenship run into the end zone for a 21-7 Ohio lead.
The Eagles answered early in the second quarter with a 14-yard Benz pass to Tyler Creel to get back within one score and kept it that close by shutting down an Ohio drive near the end of the first half with an Ike Spearman interception on a pass that went off the hands of intended target Daz’ Patterson.
Eastern Michigan stopped another promising Ohio drive to start the second half by forcing a punt from the 35-yard line. It was downed at the 1, but the Eagles converted a third-and-5, and a few plays later, tight end Tyreese Russell got behind the defense for a 62-yard touchdown that knotted the score at 21.
Bronson Hill’s 64-yard run on the Eagles’ next possession put them in position to go ahead before Bass’ interception shifted momentum for the rest of the game. Hill finished with 258 yards on 23 carries, scoring on an 11-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter.
With the Eagles within two scores again, Ryan Boykin capped off another Ohio scoring drive with a 6-yard run with 10:40 remaining. The defense stopped the Eagles on downs near midfield and then the offense, with JD Sprague at quarterback, used more than five minutes to go 10 plays for another touchdown on a 1-yard run by Sprague.
While Eastern Michigan found great success running the ball, its quarterbacks were a combined 14 of 28 for 162 yards with two interceptions.
Safety Josh Kristoff led Ohio’s defense with 11 tackles, while Moore had nine. Spearman had 10 tackles for the Eagles.
The teams combined for more than 1,000 total yards with the Bobcats holding a 547-477 edge.
Ohio hosts Miami at 2 p.m. Saturday at Peden Stadium.