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College Football News

Tuesday, 3 September, 2013 10:12 PM

Comeback Has Eastern Michigan Topping Howard

Photo credit: Rolco Sports Network

One half of the 'Wonder Twins' the front-and-center part of the Howard University 'Showtime Marching Band'.

 

by Raymond Rolak
AmericaJR.com Web Team

 

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YPSILANTI, Mich. -- Eastern Michigan University came from behind with 14 points in the fourth quarter to take their season opener over Howard 34-24. The non-conference tilt at Rynearson Stadium had a large and spirited home crowd.

It is a pivotal season for sixth year EMU head coach Ron English. Eastern only had two wins last year.

In college, English played at the University of California in Berkley from 1987 to 1990 as a safety. Before his top spot at EMU, English had been a longtime collegiate assistant and a very highly respected defensive specialist. He has not taken EMU to a Bowl game yet. This is a great start, optimism is at a high level, and there is excitement on campus. But, and it is a big but....the Eagles have a tough schedule, especially their road games. Penn State, Rutgers and Army are all away games.

Against Howard, EMU junior running-back Bronson Hill rushed for 105 yards and junior quarterback Tyler Benz tossed for 210 yards and two TD's. Hill had two rushing touchdowns also.

EMU welcomed the parents of incoming freshman and the promotion filled the west side of the complex. The campus was buzzing with all the pre-game sizzle of tailgating and had a packed pregame buffet. The crowd was energized as new students were finding their way to the stadium from the Convocation Center while trying to locate new dorm roommates. The full college football experience was evident with the tents, food, music and mingling alumni. It is the largest freshman class ever this year at Eastern Michigan University.

Both schools had their Marching Bands perform and both groups excelled beyond all expectations. The Howard University 'Showtime Marching Band' wowed with the athletic choreography put forth by Drum Major's, Kendall Williams and Chris Cloud. On the Washington D.C. campus they are known as the 'Wonder Twins' because of their creative showmanship.

Howard had the lead in the third quarter on the passing and running of junior quarterback Greg McGhee. He finished with 111 yards rushing and 182 yards passing. The kicking of sophomore John Fleck contributed to keeping EMU pinned.

Howard is big up-front, including Malcolm Rutledge (Southfield-Lathrup High School), a 6-3,310 junior offensive lineman. For the first three quarters, the Bison offensive line was dominant. EMU had trouble sustaining in the first-half but recovered nicely as Hill and Darius Jackson pounded out ground yards.

Then the fourth quarter push started to propel the Eagles for the comeback. A career first ever interception by EMU senior middle linebacker Sean Kurtz was the start. "They were running a spot route....I read it....it was pretty exciting," said Kurtz after the game.

The comeback showcased that Eastern Michigan was in condition to wear down their opponent. The game was a compliment to Coach English and his staff for instilling the never-say-die attitude.

Next week, Eastern Michigan travels to Penn State. Happy Valley, Pennsylvania is tough for any visiting school. An added component is that the location is difficult to reach by any means of transportation. There won't be many Eagle supporters in the stadium. It will be a hostile environment for the 'Green and White'.

Howard University coach Rayford Petty will have his charges at home at RFK Stadium. They will take on Morehouse College. This is the second stint as Bison head coach for Petty. Next week, it will be a four day celebration titled, "More Than A Game”. The activities are part of the third annual AT&T Nation’s Football Classic® weekend, held Thursday, Sept. 5, through Sunday, Sept. 8, in Washington, D.C.

Related Stories: College Football: Pali Makes Jump to D-I Football at EMU; Michigan beats EMU, 31 - 3 for Hoke's third win in a row

 


 

 

 

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