Mount Pleasant, Mich. - The Ball State football team (5-3, 3-2 MAC) claimed a 41-30 win over Central Michigan (2-5, 0-3 MAC) Saturday evening at Kelly/Shorts Stadium.
Sophomore running back Jahwan Edwards ran for 128 yards, marking his third 100-yard game of the season and the fifth of his career. Junior quarterback Keith Wenning threw for 231 yards with three touchdowns and ran for another score.
"It was a pretty solid game and a good road win," Ball State coach Pete Lembo said. "We don't make a big deal out of road games. We just stay focused on the task at hand."
Barrington Scott, who added for 99 yards rushing, caught one of Wenning's touchdowns and also scored one on the ground. His 7-yard touchdown grab from Wenning was one of three second-half scores for the Cardinals.
Steven Schott's second field goal of the day, a 32-yarder with three minutes left, gave Ball State a 41-23 edge before Central Michigan scored a late touchdown on its final possession.
"The last field goal was huge, and we made some great defensive stops late in the game," Lembo said. "You have to play 60 minutes every game. These games are never over."
Ball State built a 24-10 halftime advantage on the strength of touchdown runs from Scott and Wenning, a 40-yard Schott field goal, and a Wenning touchdown pass to Willie Snead. The Snead score came with just 10 seconds remaining in the half.
With Central Michigan driving in Ball State territory in the third quarter and looking to cut into the lead, senior defensive tackle Brandon Newman came up with a big play for the Cardinals. Newman sacked Chippewa quarterback Ryan Radcliff and forced a fumble that teammate Nathan Ollie returned into Central Michigan territory.
That play set the Cardinals up for a drive that ended with a 5-yard Wenning touchdown pass to tight end Zane Fakes, extending the advantage to 31-10. From there, Ball State's lead never shrunk to fewer than 14 points.
Newman's play was one of four sacks and two turnovers created on the day by the Ball State defense, which also got an interception from cornerback Quintin Cooper in the first quarter.
Radcliff finished the game with 339 yards passing and three touchdowns to lead Central Michigan offensively, while Zurlon Tipton ran for 126 yards and a score.
The Ball State football team returns to non-conference action next Saturday when it plays at Army with a noon kickoff.
Ball State 7, Central Michigan 0
11 plays, 79 yards, 4:17
Ball State 7, Central Michigan 7
14:55 - Ryan Radcliff 22-yard touchdown pass to Aaron McCord. David Harman kick good.
6 plays, 59 yards, 2:20
Ball State 14, Central Michigan 7
8 plays, 75 yards, 2:42
Ball State 14, Central Michigan 10
9:41 - David Harman 51-yard field goal.
7 plays, 48 yards, 2:32
Ball State 17, Central Michigan 10
5:19- Steven Schott 40-yard field goal.
5 plays, 39 yards, 1:38
Ball State 24, Central Michigan 10
9 plays, 53 yards, 3:07
Ball State 31, Central Michigan 10
7 plays, 41 yards, 3:09
Ball State 31, Central Michigan 17
4:46- Ryan Radcliff 5-yard touchdown pass to Cody Wilson. David Harman kick good.
7 plays, 68 yards, 3:21
Ball State 38, Central Michigan 17
10 plays, 67 yards, 4:51
Ball State 38, Central Michigan 23
11:45- Zurlon Tipton 6-yard touchdown run. Kick blocked by 93 Joel Cox.
7 plays, 69 yards, 3:10
Ball State 41, Central Michigan 23
3:00 - Steven Schott 32-yard field goal.
10 plays, 40 yards, 3:58
Ball State 41, Central Michigan 30
1:31- Quarterback Cody Wilson 18-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Radcliff. David Harman kick good.
7 plays, 84 yards, 1:29