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<< Sports >>

NCAA College Football News

Friday, 28 December, 2012 10:04 AM

CMU beats WKU 24-21, in Little Caesars Pizza Bowl at Ford Field

Photo by Lars Hjelmroth / Detroit Photo Company

The Little Caesars Pizza Bowl trophy is presented to CMU Head Dan Enos on Dec. 26, 2012.

 

by Raymond Rolak
Sports Editor

 

 

|

DETROIT -- The pre-game snowstorm held the crowd down. Those that came were loud and passionate. This was the 16th edition of the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl at Ford Field.

The ardent supporters came with over 23,000 strong and saw a most competitive game. The folks that stayed home watching on ESPN got a football showcase also. Central Michigan slipped past Western Kentucky 24-21.

CMU stopped the Hilltoppers on fourth-and-2 in the final minute when a field goal might have sent the game to overtime. On fourth down from the 19-yard line with 51 seconds left, Kawaun Jakes threw incomplete intended for Jack Doyle.

Lance Guidry, coaching Western Kentucky (7-6) on an interim basis, went for the victory after his players made their feelings known regarding the situation.

“That was all the players. We were going to kick the field goal, we had the unit in the huddle but they told me that they were here to win the game,” Guidry said postgame. Everyone wanted to go for it; I called over the defense, they wanted to go for it. So the players kind of made the decision. I put it in their hands and that’s the way they wanted and that’s how we’re going out.”

Central Michigan had taken the lead with 5:11 remaining, as Cody Wilson caught an 11-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Ratcliff. “I couldn’t have scripted it any better than my last catch being the winning TD in a bowl game,” said Wilson. The senior had 10 catches for 101 yards.

Radcliff went 19 of 29 for 253 yards and three touchdowns. Central Michigan (7-6) rallied late in the game. Down 21-17, Zurlon Tipton appeared to have put the Chippewas ahead in the fourth quarter, but his fourth-down run was ruled short of the goal line after a review.

Central Michigan forced the Hilltoppers to punt from their own end zone, and Avery Cunningham blocked it. The ball bounced around for a bit, the Chippewas finally recovered it and took over with great field position inside the 30. Radcliff found Wilson in the back left corner of the end zone for a 24-21 lead.

“We knew we left a lot on the table in the first half, but we made a lot of those plays in the second half,” said CMU coach Dan Enos.

Richie Brogan had a record 82 yard punt for CMU. Radcliff was MVP and CMU linebacker Shamari Benton was Outstanding Lineman of the Game. He had nine tackles.

LCPB Game Notes:

Detroit Cass Tech High School, coached by Tom Wilcher, the 2012 Michigan Division-I State Champion football team was honored on the field.

The Hilltoppers marching band arrived at Ford Field just before game time because of hard travel conditions and exceeded all expectations.

Football pioneer and 1948 Cotton Bowl star Wally Triplett, 86, was honored by the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl Committee.

Senior players for both teams served early Christmas breakfast with the Salvation Army at the historic Masonic Temple.

This was CMU’s third bowl win. This was the first bowl game for WKU.

CMU junior running back Zurlon Tipton eclipsed the 100-yard barrier for the seventh consecutive game and for the eighth time this season, with 23 carries for 101 yards.

Little Caesars brought its “Love Kitchen” to Mt. Pleasant, Michigan and Bowling Green, Kentucky prior to bowl week. The big-rig pizza kitchen served meals to people in need.

Related Story: PREVIEW: Little Caesars Pizza Bowl to Have Partisan CMU Crowd

 

Photo by Lars Hjelmroth / Detroit Photo Company

Dr. George Ross, President of Central Michigan University, third year CMU head football coach Dan Enos and President of Little Caesars Enterprises, David Scrivino celebrate the presentation of the 2012 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl trophy.

 

Photo credit: Little Caesars Pizza Bowl

For more information, visit www.littlecaesarspizzabowl.com.

 

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Unauthorized duplication or use of Text, Photos, Videos, Site Template, Graphics and or Site Design is Prohibited by Federal and International laws. See our Notice/Disclaimer.

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