E. Michigan 20, Akron 17
Nov. 10, 1996
YPSILANTI, Mich. (AP) _ Justin Ventura's 28-yard field goal with 55 seconds remaining capped a 17-point, second-half comeback by Eastern Michigan in a 20-17 victory over Akron on Saturday.
The Eagles (3-8, 3-5 Mid-American Conference) erased a 14-point halftime deficit and snapped the Zips' three-game winning streak.
Eastern entered the fourth quarter trailing 17-10, but tied it on a 59-yard punt return by Keijuan Douglas. Douglas earlier had caught a 46-yard TD pass from Walt Church which made the score 17-10.
The defense shut out Akron (4-7, 3-5) the entire second half, and limited the Zips to just three first downs.
``We certainly had a lot of opportunities in the second half to move the ball because our defense kept them off the field,'' Eagles coach Rick Rasnick said.
Church finished the game with 255 yards on 23-of-39 passing and one touchdown. Savon Edwards rushed for 164 yards on 34 carries.
Akron's Yasin Reeder finished with 201 yards on 23 carries.
The Zips led 17-10 late in the third quarter and appeared ready to add to their lead. Eastern Michigan, though, got a break when Akron wide receiver Devon Scott was called for pass interference after making a catch at the Eagles' 18.
The penalty nullified a 31-yard completion and placed Akron in a first and 25 at their own 36. The possession ended in a punt.
``We've overcome some terrible things before in terms of calls going against us and tonight we had to again,'' Akron coach Lee Owens said. ``That's a shame. I feel terrible right now for the team because they played their hearts out.''
Akron took a 17-3 lead into halftime in large part because of the effort of Reeder. With the Zips up 3-0, Reeder ripped off an 80-yard scoring run late in the first quarter.
Freshman quarterback Greg Gromek had been 3-0 as a starter for Akron. He completed 5-of-19 passes for 50 yards.