College Football: Central Michigan 30, Rhode Island 27 - D1SportsNet


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College football

Central Michigan 30, Rhode Island 27

Central Michigan pulled out a 30-27 triple-overtime victory over Rhode Island in the Chippewas' season opener.

Briones led the Chippewas with 11 tackles including eight solo stops. He recorded two tackles-for-loss including a sack, and had one of CMU's six interceptions.

QB Shane Morris, a graduate transfer from Michigan, had an up-and-down CMU debut, completing 25 of 49 passes for 226 yards, one touchdown and one interception. His fourth-quarter fumble led to Rhode Island's game-tying touchdown with under three minutes to play. His touchdown pass was a 4-yard strike in the back of the end zone to sophomore wideout Brandon Childress. It was Morris' first collegiate TD pass.

Morris operated exclusively from the shotgun formation and was sacked twice, but one of those came when center Austin Doan snapped the ball over his head. That miscue happened at least three times in the game.

CMU used redshirt freshman quarterback Tony Poljan in two series, completing three of his five pass attempts for 27 yards.

Sophomore Jonathan Ward rushed for 147 yards on 19 carries with one touchdown. Devon Spalding added 70 yards on 20 carries.

Darwyn Kelly made two tackles and had an interception, while Michael Armstrong connected on three of four field goal attempts. He made two from 22 yards and another from 39. He missed from 46 yards. One of his 22-yarders came in the first overtime period, and it was a must-make. Had he missed, the game would have been over and Rhode Island would have walked away with a 24-21 victory.

The Chippewas finished with 499 yards, 253 through the air, 246 on the ground. CMU had 24 first downs to Rhode Island's 15.