YPSILANTI, Mich.-Ohio senior running back Vince Davidson scored three touchdowns as the Bobcats picked up the 500th win in program history in a 30-17 defeat of Eastern Michigan Saturday afternoon at Rynearson Stadium.
The victory was also Ohios sixth-straight Mid-American Conference road win, the longest for the program since a seven-game stretch during the 1959-61 season.
Davidson had 40 yards on the ground, but posted two rushing touchdowns, along with a 61-yard scoring catch in the third quarter. Quarterback Boo Jackson went the distance this time, completing 15 of 24 passes for 218 yards with one touchdown pass and one interception. Five of his passes went to wide receiver LaVon Brazill, who had 46 yards receiving. Fellow wideout Steven Goulet also caught four passes for 45 yards.
Eastern Michigan was led by running back Dwayne Priests 117 yards rushing on 19 carries. Quarterback Alex Gillett completed half his passes (15-of-30) for 208 yards with one score and one interception (by Ohios Steven Jackson). Gilletts favorite target was wideout Kinsman Thomas, who had five catches for 57 yards with one touchdown.
Defensively, Ohio safety Donovan Fletcher had a team-high eight tackles, with one pass breakup. Defensive lineman Stafford Gatling also stood out with six tackles, including 1.5 sacks. The Bobcat secondary was active all day, breaking up six passes.
Ohio got on the board first via a Matt Weller 42-yard field goal at the 7:34 mark of the first quarter. The score finished off a 13-play drive that ate up seven minutes and 26 seconds. On the drive, Ohio converted on fourth down when Jackson found tight end Jordan Thompson for a five-yard gain. Brazill caught three passes for 27 yards on the drive, as well.
The Eagles fired right back on the ensuing drive, however, as the hosts pieced together an eight-play, 65-yard drive that culminated with a dazzling nine-yard touchdown catch by Thomas in the corner of the end zone. The play was reviewed, but the wideout did, in fact, get one foot down in bounds on the play. The Bobcats had the drive stymied on the EMU 44-yard line, but EMUs Ben Thayer then took the fake-punt snap and rumbled 32 yards, where Brazill stopped him at Ohios 24-yard line to prevent the score.
The Bobcats bounced back with another 13-play drive, this time for 77 yards in seven minutes, 25 seconds. Ohio got down to Easterns 18-yard line and was faced with a third-and five when Jackson hit wide receiver Terrence McCrae on a seven-yard route over the middle to extend the drive. After the Eagles were called for a third down pass interference penalty on a fade route to McCrae in the end zone, Davidson took the next handoff and plunged through the Eagle line for a two-yard score.
EMU tied the affair at 10 with a Sean Graham 25-yard field goal 37 seconds before the half. That score came off yet another long drive, this one lasting 14 plays and seven minutes, 15 seconds. The drive was riddled by penalties on both teams before Graham put the ball through the uprights.
Davidson broke the tie with a seven-yard scoring run up the middle at the 9:34 mark of the third quarter, which put Ohio up 17-10. Jackson kept the drive going when he hit Goulet for 21 yards down the sideline on third-and-three from the Ohio 40. The next big play came when wideout Riley Dunlop hauled in a 24-yard pass over the middle and the Bobcats tacked on an EMU half-the-distance penalty when Jackson was roughed after the pass.
Following a three-and-out by the Ohio defense, Davidson struck again when he found himself all alone on a sideline route and raced untouched to the end zone on a 61-yard toss from Jackson. The play was Davidsons first-ever receiving touchdown for the Bobcats and Jacksons longest pass of the season.
Dunlop got in on the act with an 18-yard rushing touchdown, the first rushing score of his career, on an end-around pitch when his dive with the ball broke the plane of the goal line. He was originally ruled down at the one-yard line, but the call was reversed upon review. Goulet came up big again when his 14-yard catch over the middle allowed Ohio to convert on third-and-12 from its own 41-yard line. The Bobcats missed the ensuing extra point, however, and settled for a 30-10 lead with 24 seconds left in the third quarter.
The Eagles cut the Ohio margin a bit when Priest plowed in from one-yard out to pull the home team within 13 points at the 12:30 mark of the fourth quarter. The run capped a nine-play, 91-yard drive that used just two minutes, 49 seconds. Wide receiver Trey Hunter had the drives biggest play when he snared a 49-yard catch deep down the right side of the Bobcat defense to put EMU in business at the Ohio 11-yard line.
The game saw its fair share of yellow flags. The Eagles, who came in leading the nation in fewest penalties per game, got hit with 10 penalties for 94 yards Saturday alone. In the four games prior to Saturdays matchup, EMU had been penalized just 10 times for 110 yards. Ohio was penalized six times for 50 yards.
Ohio will be back in action Saturday at 2 p.m. ET when Bowling Green visits Peden Stadium for Parents Weekend. Eastern Michigan travels to Vanderbilt.
Courtesy of Ohio Athletics