Sack stops late drive, CSU falls 27-21

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Sack stops late drive, CSU falls 27-21

Since its re-birth in 2005, the road has been rocky for the Central State University football team.

Once a national power, the team has reached .500 just once – 5-5 in 2007 – yet with 5,257 alumni looking on, the Marauders had a chance to hit the magic mark on Homecoming at McPherson Stadium.

The Marauders played catch-up most of the day against Missouri University of Science and Technology (5-1, 3-1 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference) but a last-second sack ended the game 27-21 and dropped CSU to 2-4 and 2-2.

“Those are the tough ones,” Central State coach E.J. Junior III said. “We knew going into the season that we were going to be competitive. The program is heading in the right direction. We have a lot of support from our president and the alumni …. we just need to pull off some of those at the end.”

Central State trailed 27-12 with 3:28 left when Datius Wilson and Jorden Paige stopped Missouri’s Scott Hendricks in the end zone for a safety. After the free kick, the Marauders went 36 yards in six plays with Elbert Butler IV bulling in from 1-yard to make it 27-21.

Central State appeared to recover the ensuing onside kick, but it was ruled they touched the ball before it went 10 yards. The defense stifled the Miners into a fourth-and-10, when the snap sailed over the punter’s head, allowing Central State to take over on the Miner 34 with seven ticks left.

Michael Wilson, however, was sacked on the last play.

Central State finished with more total offense, 413-361, with Wilson rushing for 79 yards and throwing for 323 more.

The Miners struck first, but Central State cut it to 7-6 on a 43-yard pass from Michael Wilson to Zachary Thomas with :59 left in the first quarter. The Marauders answered a second Missouri score with 3:38 left in the second on a 57-yard run by Wilson, however the two-point conversion failed and the hosts trailed 14-12 at the break.

Central State had a goal line stand to end the first half after the Miners had an interception deep in Marauder territory and returned it to the CSU 12. The interior of the Marauder line – led by Wislon, Jonathon Jones and Christopher Clady – stuffed Missouri three times before a Miners incomplete pass gave CSU the ball on downs at their own one.

“Our defense has been pretty good,” Junior said. “It has been our forte. We got that stop and I told the team we needed to keep making stops and get three more scores. We were one score short.”

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