Rockets roll in second half over CMU, 31-17

October 22, 2016 | Athletics, News
By Paul Helgren

Junior wide receiver Cody Thompson caught four touchdown passes and the Rocket defense contained a dangerous Chippewa offense to help Toledo to a 31-17 victory over Central Michigan in the Glass Bowl Saturday afternoon.

Toledo moves to 6-1, 3-0 in Mid-American Conference play. Central Michigan fell to 5-3, 2-2 in conference games.

Junior linebacker Ja'Wuan Woodley had four tackles in Toledo's win over Central Michigan.

Junior linebacker Ja’Wuan Woodley had four tackles in Toledo’s win over Central Michigan.

Thompson caught TD passes of 16, 16, 11 and 34 yards — all in the second half — from junior quarterback Logan Woodside to account for all of the Rockets’  28 second-half points. Woodside completed 23 of 32  passes for 264 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions.

Thompson ended up with seven receptions and 122 receiving yards. Senior Kareem Hunt led the rushing attack with 87 yards.

Toledo’s defense did a good job containing CMU senior quarterback Cooper Rush, who entered the game ranked second in Chippewa history with 85 TD passes. Rush was 18 of 31 for 229 yards, one TD and one interception. Two other Rocket interceptions were called back due to roughing-the-passer penalties.

Junior running back Terry Swanson carried the ball nine times for 47 yards.

Junior running back Terry Swanson carried the ball nine times for 47 yards.

The first half was a battle of defenses and field position, with Toledo taking a 3-0 lead into the locker room. Toledo scored on its opening drive, a 34-yard field goal from Jameson Vest. The Rockets had another chance to add points in the second quarter, but Vest’s 33-yard attempt was wide right.

CMU lost out on a chance to take the lead on its final drive of the half when Devon Spalding fumbled into the end zone after catching a pass for a 16-yard gain to the UT one-yard line.

Toledo jumped out of the gate to start the second half, scoring on its first two possessions. The Rockets started the half with a seven-play, 62-yard drive that ended when Woodside hit Thompson for a 16-yard TD. Following an interception by senior safety Connery Swift, the first of his career, Woodside and Thompson hooked up again, again from 16 yards out to make the score 17-0 with 9:35 to play in the quarter.

Central Michigan answered with its first score of the game with a quick five-play drive that was capped off by a 20-yard run by quarterback Rush to cut the lead to 17-7. A few moments later, a 36-yard field goal by Chippewa kicker Brian Eavey made it 17-10.

Senior running back Kareem Hunt ran for 87 yards against the Chippewas.

Senior running back Kareem Hunt ran for 87 yards against the Chippewas.

Woodside found Thompson in the end zone for the third time, this time an 11-yarder to up the Toledo lead to 24-10 with 11:36 to play.

The Rockets snuffed out CMU’s last best chance to get back into the game when senior safety DeJuan Rogers broke up a fourth-down pass with 10 minutes to play.

Toledo added to the score when Thompson caught his fourth TD of the game, a 34-yarder with 7:30 remaining.

Central Michigan scored its final touchdown with 4:11 left when Rush hit Tyler Conklin from four yards out. The drive was kept alive by two roughing-the-passer calls that wiped out Rocket interceptions.

UT ran out the clock by gaining two first downs on its final possession.

The Rockets return home to face Ohio in a Thursday night battle at the Glass Bowl. Kickoff time is set for 7:30 p.m.

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