Ball St. 39, E. Michigan 25
YPSILANTI, Mich. (AP) _ Brent Baldwin threw three touchdown passes to lead Ball State to its sixth straight victory, 39-25 over Eastern Michigan on Saturday.
Ball State (6-3, 5-1 Mid-American) moved into a tie for first place with Ohio, a half game ahead of Toledo.
Baldwin connected on touchdown passes of 11 and 29 yards to Ed Abernathy and 52 yards to Marcellus Davis. Abernathy finished with 54 yards on four catches, and Davis had three receptions for 69 yards.
Ball State also gained 191 yards on the ground, led by Michael Blair’s 73 yards on 15 carries and Justin Bivins’ 52 yards and two touchdowns.
Walt Church threw for 257 yards and two touchdowns for the Eagles (2-8, 2-5), but the Cardinals’ defense held Eastern Michigan’s rushing game to 60 yards.
Bivins scored his first TD on a 26-yard run at 9:59 of the first quarter to give Ball State a 7-3 lead. He added a 2-yard scoring run with 10:14 left in the first half.
Eastern scored on a 45-yard field goal by Justin Ventura and a 12-yard pass from Church to Savon Edwards, the TD coming with :53 left in the half to cut Ball State’s lead to 14-12.
On the ensuing possession, Baldwin hit Davis for a 52-yard TD with :12 seconds left in the half as Ball State took a 21-12 lead into halftime.
The Cardinals built a 31-12 lead on a 22-yard field goal by Brent Lockilear followed by Baldwin’s first TD pass to Abernathy.
Church answered with a touchdown to Ontario Pryor and Mike Scott pulled the Eagles closer with a 2-yard run that made the score 31-25 with 10:51 remaining.
But Baldwin secured the victory for Ball State with his third TD pass of the game, a 29-yarder to Abernathy with 4:29 left.