Davis Leads Cards Past Rockets, 41-20 Print E-mail
Written by Brian Golden   
Wednesday, November 14 2007
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Ball State's Chris Clancy Rushed for 103 yards.
Muncie, IN - Ball State won a battle of two 5-5 teams seeking bowl eligibility Tuesday, 41-20, in front of the ESPN2 cameras on Senior Night at Scheumann Stadium. After 80 seconds, the teams were on pace for 600 total points, but the brisk offensive pace cooled and Ball State dominated the second half en route to a decisive sixth win of the year.

Toledo (5-6, 3-4 MAC) jumped out to a 7-0 lead just 28 seconds into the game after two Jalen Parmele runs combined for 46 yards and a score. But the Cardinals wasted no time answering, marching 68 yards in just four plays to score on a 27-yard touchdown catch by tight end Darius Hill to tie the game at 7-7.

Ball State (6-5, 4-2 MAC) turned out an impressive home crowd for the season finale at remodeled Scheumann Stadium. Not only were the ESPN cameras in town, but there may have been some bowl scouts watching as well. Buzz around the stadium focused on the International Bowl in Toronto, and the Cardinals' offense would likely appeal to the folks in Toronto, who have the right to select third in the MAC bowl pecking order.

Despite the speculation, Cardinals quertback Nate Davis and head coach Brady Hoke focused their post-game comments on the importance of sending Ball State's seniors off with a win. But it was a crew of underclassmen that carried the Cardinals to victory.

Davis, a sophomore, had one of his best games of the year, throwing for three scores and running for two more, including a spectacular one-yard run in the second quarter that tied the game at 20-20. On the play, Davis dropped to pass, was flushed from the pocket, and sprinted toward the right pylon. From about a yard and a half out, Davis leapt for the end zone and snuck the ball across the end line. Ian McGarvey's extra point tied it.

Davis' main partner in crime on this night was another underclassman, junior wide receiver Dante Love. Davis found Love on two gorgeous deep throws, including a 39-yard toss in the first half that Love snatched just behind him while streaking in to the end zone. That score brought Ball State to within 17-13 late in the first quarter.

Sophomore running back Chris Clancy gave Ball State plenty of tough yards on the ground while the Cardinals protected their lead. The third string running back finished with 13 carries for 103 yards.

Neither team let off the accelerator much in the first half, but Ball State was the squad able to keep pushing the hardest after the break, thanks in part to Toledo injuries. Jalen Parmele, Toledo's star RB, rung up 94 yards on 16 carries in the first half, but only carried eight times in the second half after getting suffering an unspecified injury.

Rockets quarterback Aaron Opelt threw some great deep passes in the first half, but injured his shoulder in the third quarter. DJ Lenehan replaced Opelt and was 0-4 with an INT in his stead.

Toledo wraps the season at rival Bowling Green in the battle for the Peace Pipe on the day after Thanksgiving while Ball State heads to Northern Illinois next Saturday for its season finale.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, November 14 2007 )
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