Western Michigan Downs EIU

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Published on September 10 2012 10:08 am
Last Updated on September 10 2012 10:08 am
Written by Millie Lange

KALAMAZOO, Mich. –  Western Michigan scored 28 unanswered points in the second quarter as the Broncos pulled away from Eastern Illinois on Saturday night at Waldo Stadium.  WMU improved to 1-1 with a 52-21 win.  EIU dropped to 1-1.

WMU took advantage of an EIU turnover on the first drive as the Broncos scored on a 9-yard run by Daniel Braverman with 11:44 left in the first quarter.  Lewis Toler had the first of his two interceptions to give WMU the ball.

EIU responded on the next drive as Jake Walker capped a 1:13 drive with a 17-yard touchdown.  Alex Carder threw the first of his five first half touchdowns on the next drive hitting Matt Cutler from 3-yards out with 7:58 to play in the first.

The Panthers knotted the score at 14-14 as Jimmy Garoppolo hit Chris Wright for an 18-yard strike to cap a 93-yard drive.  EIU had started the drive at its own 7-yard line as the Panther defense stopped WMU on a 4th and 1.  For Wright it was his eighth straight game with a touchdown reception.

Nick Beard forced and recovered a fumble on the next Broncos drive that gave EIU the ball at the Panther 31-yard line.  EIU could not take advantage of the turnover as they drove 40 yards and turned the ball back over on downs at the Bronco 31.

“We didn’t maintain the tempo we wanted to have tonight,” said EIU coach Dino Babers.  “When the score was tied 14-14 we had a couple of series where we needed to get some things done and didn’t accomplish our goal.  Credit their defensive backs for getting us out of that tempo.  We completed less than 50 percent of our passes.”

Carder then took over throwing four second quarter touchdowns hitting Blake Hammond for two short TD’s and Jaime Wilson for the other two.  Carder finished 29-of-40 for 364 yards.  Wilson had 11 catches for 154 yards.

WMU tacked on a field goal in the third quarter by Andrew Haldeman and rushing touchdown by Antoin Scriven in the fourth.  EIU scored on a 6-yard run by Taylor Duncan with 13:38 left in the game following a recovered fumbled punt by WMU.

Garoppolo moved into fifth on the EIU career passing charts going 15-of-32 for 225 yards.  Erik Lora had his second straight 100-yard receiving game with 115 yards on five receptions.

LeQuince McCall and Beard led EIU with 13 tackles each.  Justin Currie was the Broncos top tackler with 8.

“I think we continued to fight throughout the entire game,” Beard said.  “We fought and even though the scoreboard may not show it, we faced adversity and will be a better team going forward.”

EIU will return to action next Saturday when the Panthers travel to Illinois State for the 101st playing of the Mid-American Classic.  ISU is currently ranked No. 18 and 2-0 on the season following a win at Eastern Michigan on Saturday.

“We will find out how this team responds following this game,” Babers added.  “We had a big win over Southern Illinois last week and then suffered a loss tonight.  Next week we play a very good Illinois State team in a rivalry game.”