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<< Sports >>

NCAA College Football News

Saturday, 29 December, 2012 7:30 PM

2012 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl featured new records and controversies

Photo by Lars Hjelmroth / Detroit Photo Company

Andrew Flory catches a TD pass for Central Michigan University in the first quarter of the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl. CMU beat Western Kentucky 24-21 in the 16th annual LCPB.

 

by Pete Bublitz
petblitz@yahoo.com

 

 

|

DETROIT -- Despite the effects of day-long snowfall hampering travel and hence likely attendance, Ford Field was host to an attention-grabbing Little Caesars Pizza Bowl highlighted by new records, ongoing lead changes, and depending on who you cheered for close calls or controversies.

The Central Michigan Chippewas would score their lead-grabbing touchdown with 5:11 left in the fourth quarter to make the final score 24-21, but the game-winning play turned out be the defense’s stoppage of a fourth-and-2 conversion attempt by the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers with less than a minute remaining.

The winning effort would come thanks in part to the combined efficiency of CMU quarterback Ryan Radcliff who was 19-29 in pass attempts for 253 yards and three touchdown receptions from wide receivers Andrew Flory and Cody Wilson in addition to a respective 105 and 101 yards. This performance earned Radcliff Game MVP honors, while teammate and linebacker Shamari Benton earned a Best Lineman award for his defensive contributions.

Flory opened the game’s scoring with a 69-yard reception to cap a four minute-long drive, but Western Kentucky answered with their own plus half-field pass reception from QB Kawaun Jakes to WR Rico Brown for 70 yards during a drive of just a minute and a half. Jakes himself would rush 6 yards to tie the game at seven per side.

Before the first quarter’s end, Central went up 14-7 on a 29 yard pass to Flory again, and two consecutive possession turnover punts by WKU’s Hendrix Brakefield and CMU’s Richie Hogan would set Little Caesar’s Bowl records at respective 74 yards and 82 yards.

At the 10 minute mark of the second, another Little Caesar’s Bowl record was set by kicker David Harman with a 50 yard field goal to make it 17-7 CMU. Just over three minutes later in regulation, Hilltopper running back Antonio Andrews rushed a total 47 yards on a drive capped with a nice one-handed catch by Jack Doyle to cut the cut the lead to three at halftime. That amount was only part of 119 yards in the game.

Western Kentucky’s second possession in the third lasted over nine minutes, and would see them regain the lead 21-17 on a call that stirred debate: Kadeem Jones would rush one yard, but appeared to fumble the ball as his arm reached across the endzone line. Still, the referees said he broke the plain and ruled it a touchdown.

Despite a botched prior drive that saw a Zurlon Tipton touchdown called back because his elbow hit the ground before crossing the line, the winning score came off a reception to Cody Wilson.

Related Story: CMU beats WKU 24-21 in Little Caesars Pizza Bowl at Ford Field

 

Photo courtesy of LCPB

The 2012 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl trophy display at the team luncheon on Christmas Eve at the 'Soundboard Nightclub' in the Motor City Casino and Hotel.

 

Photo credit: Little Caesars Pizza Bowl

For more information, visit www.littlecaesarspizzabowl.com.

 

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