MUNCIE, Ind. - The Ball State football team (6-6, 4-4 MAC) ended its regular season with a 45-28 loss to Toledo (8-4, 7-1 MAC) Friday afternoon at Scheumann Stadium in a Senior Day contest that recognized its 17 seniors.
"Congratulations to Toledo," Ball State's first-year head coach Pete Lembo remarked. "I was impressed with them on video before today, during the pregame warm-ups and with how they played today. They did not turn it over at all and for us to have the chance to upset a team like this, we have got to not only not turn it over ourselves, but we have to find a way to get a couple and we did not do that today."
After the Rockets raced to a 28-7 advantage after three quarters, the Cardinals were able to score 21 fourth quarter points to stay in contention for the win.
Toledo went down and scored minutes later to make it a 35-14, but the Cardinals added another touchdown at the 10:21 mark after a 4-yard run from running back Dwayne Donigan to stay within striking distance at 35-21.
"I thought our guys played with good effort as always," Lembo says. "I thought we got a little worn down in the second half, probably a result of being on the field a little too much, and that has been a challenge all year."
The Rockets would score two more times in the final four minutes of the game and Ball State would close the out the contest with a 10-yard TD pass from Wenning to senior wide receiver Torieal Gibson with 50 seconds left to make the final score 45-28.
With his 36 completions against Toledo, Wenning set the single season record for most pass completions and now has 287 in 2011. In addition, he attempted 52 passes for a total of 308 yards and two touchdowns. With the 52 attempts, Wenning is now second on Ball State's single-season chart with 449 attempts and third with 2,786 passing yards. It also marked the fourth 300-yard plus game of Wenning's career and the eighth multiple TD passing game of the season for Wenning, and the 11th of his career.
Defensively, senior safety Sean Baker led the team with 18 total tackles and tallied one forced fumble. Travis Freeman managed 15 tackles, while Joshua Howard tallied 13 with one tackle for loss. Jeffery Garrett and Aaron Morris managed 12 tackles apiece. Andrew Puthoff had eight tackles, including two tackles for loss.
Jahwan Edwards led the Cardinals with 60 rushing yards and one touchdown, while Donigan tallied his second career rushing TD. Jack Tomlinson led all Ball State receivers with nine catches for 97 yards, while Briggs Orsbon had nine catches for 96 yards. Jamill Smith had a career high eight receptions for 57 yards.
Ball State ends the regular season at 6-6 and is bowl eligible for the third time in five years. The Cardinals will await the bowl invitations to see if they are invited to continue the 2011 season.
-Joshua Howard recorded his first unassisted tackle for loss of his career in the second quarter.
-Jahwan Edwards had a one yard rushing touchdown in the second quarter for his 11th touchdown of the season and career.
-Sean Baker forced his sixth fumble of his career and first of the season in the third quarter.
-Briggs Orsbon completed his second pass of the season for nine yards in the second quarter.
-Sean Baker recorded a career high 18 tackles (8-10) in the game.
-Zane Fakes records his first touchdown catch of the season and second of his career with a five yard catch in the fourth quarter.
-Keith Wenning recorded his 18th touchdown pass of the season and 32nd of his career with a five yard pass in the fourth quarter.
-Jack Tomlinson caught a career high nine receptions in the game for a total of 97 yards.
-Jamill Smith caught a career high eight receptions in the game for a total of 57 yards.
-Dwayne Donigan ran for his second touchdown of his career and the season in the fourth quarter with a four yard run.
-Joshua Howard recorded a career high 13 tackles (4-9) in the game.
-Keith Wenning connected with Gibson on a 10 yard touchdown pass for his 19th of the season and 33rd of his career.
-Torieal Gibson caught a 10 yard pass from Wenning for his second of the season and sixth of his career.
-Keith Wenning had a career high 36 completions on the day and threw for over 300 yards for the fourth time of his career.
Toledo 7, Ball State 0
8:31- Adonis Thomas 4-yard touchdown run. Ryan Casano kick good.
15 plays, 80 yards, 6:29
Toledo 14, Ball State 0
13:41 - Terrance Owens 11-yard touchdown pass to Morgan Williams. Ryan Casano kick good.
14 plays, 74 yards, 6:24
Toledo 14, Ball State 7
10 plays, 80 yards, 4:44
Toledo 21, Ball State 7
:52- Terrance Owens 30-yard touchdown pass to Bernard Reedy. Ryan Casano kick good.
6 plays, 81 yards, 1:56
Toledo 28, Ball State 7
9:09- Terrance Owens 3-yard touchdown pass to Cassius McDowell. Ryan Casano kick good.
12 plays, 87 yards, 4:29
Toledo 28, Ball State 14
8 plays, 37 yards, 2:11
Toledo 35, Ball State 14
12:29- Terrance Owens 14-yard touchdown pass to Eric Page. Ryan Casano kick good.
5 plays, 62 yards, 1:50
Toledo 35, Ball State 21
7 plays, 80 yards, 2:08
Toledo 38, Ball State 21
3:29 - Ryan Casano 35-yard field goal.
4 plays, 4 yards, 1:45
Toledo 45, Ball State 21
2:35- Jermaine Robinson interception.
Toledo 45, Ball State 28
8 plays, 68 yards, 1:38