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Monday, 5 September, 2011 9:10 PM
Storms interrupt college football in southeast Michigan
Safety First as Eastern Michigan Wins Suspended Game
YPSILANTI, Mich. -- There was more thunder and lighting in the sky instead of being created on the field at Rynearson Stadium. Host Eastern Michigan University postponed the game against Howard University until Sunday due to dangerous weather conditions. Both teams came back 17 hours later and finished the non-conference tilt and put it in the score book. Howard had a strong alumni presence supporting the Buffaloes.
“In my 30 plus years we never had such a light show in the sky,” said longtime Associate Director of Athletics and Sports Information, Jim Streeter. “Our Director of Athletics, Dr. Derrick Gregg, under consultation postponed the game for the safety of the students, players and spectators. We had a nice crowd but everyone understood. Most waited the storm out in the Convocation Center where it was cooler and comfortable. Everyone was invited back Sunday as guests.
At near-by Ann Arbor the Michigan and Western Michigan game was terminated early and the large crowd was asked to evacuate after weather delays. The Wolverines were declared the winner by agreement, 34-10. The end came at with 1:37 left in the third quarter.
At Michigan Stadium, over 100,000 were encouraged to leave the stadium during a heavy downpour with strong winds and lightning, but it was not evacuated during the first of two delays.
The game was the debut win for Brady Hoke and the game was closer than the score depicted. The two defensive touchdowns by Wolverine linebacker Brandon Herron was the difference.
Some of the members of the Western Michigan band were overcome by the extreme heat. It was a reported 92 degrees at game time but 137 degrees on the field. Terry Pappas spokesman for Huron Valley Ambulance, the first response team on site said, “We had more folks than usual treated for heat related concerns.”
Other venues facing tough safety decisions were at Notre Dame and Iowa. In both cases spectators were asked to evacuate. The University of South Florida beat the Irish 23-20 after two long delays and the Hawkeyes cruised over Tennessee Tech 34-7.
It was a giant and emotional win for USF coach Skip Holtz, a Notre Dame alumnus. Said second year Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly, “For us the chaos was on the field. I think our administration did a great job of making decisions relative to the weather.” A big crowd, 80,800 evacuated. NBC which carried the game on television showed a movie during the long delay. They never returning to the game after the game resumed.
Eastern Michigan caught some lighting in a bottle as they went on to best Howard 41-9. Howard of Washington D.C., jumped out to a 9-6 lead but EMU scored 35 unanswered points. The dual running tandem of Dominique Sherrer and Javonti Greene pounded out the ground win for Eastern Michigan. They each ran for 120 yards on 14 carries.
Coach Ron English and his Eagles host Alabama State next Saturday at Rynearson Stadium at 1:00 PM.
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