The Miami University Redhawks gave visiting parents plenty to cheer for, as the team opened its Mid-American Conference (MAC) campaign with a impressive 28-17 win at Yager Stadium on Saturday Oct. 2 behind strong performances from both Brett Gabbert and A.J. Mayer.
The quarterbacks combined for four touchdowns and 350 yards, as Gabbert (171 yards, 2 TDs) was removed from the game at halftime due to injury. Mayer did not miss a beat, throwing for 179 yards and two touchdowns. Running backs Keyon Mozee and Tyre Shelton added 107 yards on the ground.
RedHawks Head Coach Chuck Martin was emotional after the game. The team had lost three of four contests this season coming into the game, and Martin said the team was “tired of being 1-3.”
“I know we’ve played good people, but losing is losing,” Martin said. “It’s hard to lose.”
Most of the team’s offensive effectiveness came through the air, as dominant days from both Mac Hippenhammer (8 catches, 170 yards) and Jack Sorensen (7 catches, 66 yards, 2 TDs) ensured that both quarterbacks had weapons at which to aim. Andrew Homer and Nate Muersch both chipped in with a touchdown catch each.
Central Michigan was no pushover, as the team was not far off Miami’s total yardage of 514, putting up 430 yards, and earning just one less first down than the Redhawks.
The Chippewas started slow, falling behind Miami 14-0 after just one quarter. The team battled its way back into the game after fifteen minutes of making little headway, as JaCorey Sullivan reeled in a pass from Daniel Richardson to score a 41-yard touchdown.
Entering the second half down by seven, Central Michigan shifted gears and began to have success on offense. A ten-play third quarter drive resulted in a field goal that cut Miami’s lead to four before another Richardson touchdown pass gave the Chippewas a 17-14 lead early in the fourth quarter.
Miami would recover behind the smooth play of A.J. Mayer, whose 23-yard strike to Nate Muersch put the Redhawks up by four, retaking a lead they would not relinquish. Another touchdown to Sorensen with seven minutes left in the game allowed RedHawk fans to exhale knowing the team would walk out with a win.
“Fortunately or unfortunately, however you look at it, we’ve been in that situation a lot,” Sorenson said after the game. “I think it was almost, like, comfortable for a lot of guys.”
The 2-3 Redhawks will next travel north to battle with Eastern Michigan at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct 9. The game will air on ESPN+.