A Toledo runner splits defenders. Below, Eugene Cooper looks for running room. Photos by Christina McGinnis.
TOLEDO, OH - Toledo exorcised some demons against its arch-rival and put itself a little closer to a bowl berth with a 33-14 victory over Bowling Green before a national TV audience at the Glass Bowl Wednesday night.
Junior Adonis Thomas rushed for a career-best 163 yards and caught five passes for 72 yards, while redshirt freshman Terrance Owens threw for 225 yards and two scores to lead the Rockets in their first win over the Falcons since 2006.
Its a relief, Thomas said. We owed them. Theres nothing better than beating a team that beat you three consecutive years, (especially) at home, with so much at stake.
Toledo (7-4, 6-1 MAC) never trailed and dominated the game statistically, outgaining the Falcons (2-9, 1-6 MAC) in total yardage, 537-254.
I cant be more proud of how those guys played today, said Head coach Tim Beckman, who gave special credit to the seniors who got this team going.
Bowling Green had difficulty sustaining any drives against the Rocket defense. The Falcons only scores came off a punt return and a turnover deep in UT territory.
The Rockets got off to a roaring start, scoring three touchdowns in the first quarter to jump out to a 19-0 lead. Owens whipped touchdown strikes to Page for 48 yards and Kenny Stafford for 33 yards on UT's first two possessions. Then Page showed his versatility by tossing a 35-yard TD pass to Tim Cortazzo to make the score 19-0.
Weve been trying to start fast in every one of our games, Beckman said. We ended up doing what we needed to do to be successful and win.
The Falcons took advantage of a short field following an interception at the UT 13-yard line in the second quarter. Matt Schilz hit Tyrone Pronty for a 13-yard score to cut the score to 19-7.
But the Rockets countered on its very next play from scrimmage, an 81-yard bolt from Thomas that gave UT a comfortable 26-7 halftime lead.
Bowling Green struck first in the second half, scoring on a 72-yard punt return by Eugene Cooper to reduce to the lead to 26-14. The Rockets countered with a score following a Charles Rancifer interception in BGSU territory. Bernard Reedy finished off the short drive on a nine-yard rush on a reverse to complete the scoring.
The Rockets will finish out the regular season at home against Central Michigan on Friday, Nov. 26 looking for their eighth win and an invitation to a bowl game.
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