Central State Upsets Urbana 28-22
WILBERFORCE, Ohio (September 15, 2012) - A couple of huge plays was all the Central State University football team needed to stun visiting Urbana University on Saturday afternoon at CSU's McPherson Stadium. The Marauders scored the game-winning touchdown on a fourth quarter flea flicker, and Urbana's final drive was stuffed on the one-inch line on a fourth and goal as CSU held on for a shocking 28-22 upset. The upset came in the GLVC conference opener for both teams.
Urbana was picked to finish second in the conference's preseason coaches' poll. Central State tied for last in the same poll, but none of that mattered on the playing field on Saturday as the Marauders won their first game against the Blue Knights since the 1989 season.
Urbana opened the scoring early in the second quarter. Sophomore running back David Hill broke the goal line from a yard out to put the visitors up 7-0. Central State answered a couple minutes later with their first score of the day, a 40-yard pass from Michael Wilson to Jeremy Turner. The Marauder elected to go for two after every score, and their first attempt of the day was good. Wilson's rush put the Marauders on top 8-7.
Urbana got two points of their own on Central State's next possession. Blue Knight Brian Ridley broke through the Marauders' punt coverage unit untouched and blocked the CSU punt out of the back of the end zone for a safety.
Urbana extended its 9-8 lead on their ensuing drive. QB D.J. Mendenhall found an open Nate Wilburn-Ogletree for a 25-yard score, but the Marshall Newsome PAT was blocked and Urbana led 15-8.
The Marauders made good use of the final three minutes of the half. Wilson broke free for a 62-yard score just before the half. After another successful two-point try, CSU led at the break 16-15.
The home team saw their lead grow to 22-15 halfway through the third quarter. Wilson's second TD pass of the afternoon found Zachary Thomas. The two-point attempt failed again, and Urbana trailed by seven points entering the final frame.
On their first drive of the fourth quarter, Urbana strung together a 15-play, 78-yard drive to pay dirt. Mendenhall carried the ball across the goal line from a yard out to bring the visitors within one. Blaine Hafner's first career PAT tied the game at 22, setting the stage for CSU's game-winning drive.
After stalling on a couple of runs in Urbana territory, Marauder Head Coach E.J. Junior called for the rare flea flicker. The Blue Knight defense bought the fake run and collapsed, leaving CSU wide receiver Dante Williams wide open for the 33-yard score.
Again CSU went for two and failed, leaving the door open for another Urbana comeback. Mendenhall marched his Blue Knights the length of the football field, converting a huge fourth-and-six from CSU's 31-yard line to keep the drive alive.
After the Marauders stopped Mendenhall on a third-and-goal from the two-yard line, Urbana elected to run again on fourth-and-goal. Mendenhall handed off to senior transfer Jeffvon Gill who was stuffed about an inch shy of the goal line. Central State, which began the E.J. Junior era with three straight 1-10 seasons, celebrated in victory formation for just the fourth time in four years.
Urbana outgained the Marauders 415 to 364. The visitors also ran 87 plays to CSU's 55, but the Marauders made their 55 plays count, especially on fourth down, where the home team converted all four of their attempts. Wilson's 62-yard scamper for a TD right before the half came on a crucial fourth down.
Mendenhall finished with 300 yards of total offense (257 passing, 43 rushing) and two TDs. Wilburn-Ogletree was his favorite target, finishing with 10 catches for 118 yards and a score. Gill led the rushing attack with 75 yards on 20 attempts. Defensively, the Blue Knights were led by Perry Jenkins' 6 tackles, including 2 for a loss. Jenkins also had a fumble recovery.
Next Saturday, Urbana (2-1, 0-1) returns home to pick up the pieces. GLVC opponent Quincy comes to town for a noon kickoff. [Box Score]