Cent. Michigan 31, Akron 29
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. (AP) _ Chuck Selinger’s 26-yard field goal with three seconds left gave Central Michigan a 31-29 victory over Akron on Saturday, the third time in four games the Chippewas narrowly dodged defeat.
Central Michigan (3-0-1), which beat Michigan State 20-3 last week, rallied with 17 points in the fourth quarter, including two touchdown runs by Billy Smith.
The Zips (0-3) built leads of 10-0 after the first quarter, 20-7 midway through the second quarter and 23-14 with 8:32 left in the third after Daron Alcorn’s third field goal.
Smith, who had 121 yards and three touchdowns on 36 carries, scored on runs of 17 and 6 yards to give the Chippewas a 28-23 lead with 7:36 left in the game. The go-ahead touchdown came two plays after Darrall Stinson’s 51-yard interception return.
Jeff Sweitzer threw 39 yards to Mike Orbovich to put Akron ahead 29-28 with 2:01 to play. The two-point conversion attempt failed.
Central Michigan took over on its own 34 after the ensuing kickoff. Jeff Bender found Bob Kench with a 23-yard pass on the first play. Two plays later Bender threw 23 yards to Bryan Tice, and Selinger kicked the winning points three plays later.
In the season opener at Ohio on Aug. 31, Bender’s 4-yard pass to Tice with no time remaining gave the Chippewas a 17-17 tie. A week later, Bender tossed a 2-yard pass to L.J. Muddy with no time on the clock as Central beat Southwestern Louisiana 27-24.
Shawn Donaldson opened the scoring for Akron, returning a fumble 52 yards. Alcorn’s 49-yard field goal made it 10-0 before Smith scored on a 1-yard run.
Alcorn kicked a 34-yard field goal in the second quarter and Darrien Gouch ran 14 yards for a touchdown as the Zips took a 20-7 lead. Bender’s 1-yard pass to Darien McKinney on fourth down, just 27 seconds before halftime, made it 20-14.
Bender completed 22 of 33 passes for 201 yards and a touchdown. Harold Robinson led the Zips with six receptions for 107 yards.