GAMEDAY College Football

Ball State 31, Western Illinois 21

Associated Press

MUNCIE, Ind. - Drew Plitt threw two long touchdown passes to Justin Hall and Ball State pulled away in the second half for a 31-21 victory over Western Illinois in a nonconference season opener on Thursday night.

Plitt connected with Hall for a 49-yard score midway through the first quarter to open the scoring and fired a 48-yard scoring strike to Hall midway through the third quarter to give the Cardinals a 21-14 lead. Carson Steele raced 37 yards for a TD early in the fourth quarter to make it 28-14 and Jake Chanove added a 35-yard field goal to cap Ball State's scoring. Plitt completed 17 of 28 passes for 188 yards and the two scores. Will Jones carried 18 times for 93 yards and a TD, while Steele added 79 yards on seven totes.

The Leathernecks hung with the defending Mid-American Conference champions, forging a 7-7 halftime tie when Connor Sampson directed a 13-play, 96-yard drive that culminated with Tony Tate's 1-yard run to paydirt. Sampson completed 30 of 43 passes for 367 yards with two TDs and an interception. Sampson hooked up with Dennis Houston for a 75-yard scoring strike to knot the score at 14 with 10:17 left in the third quarter, but Ball State answered with 17 straight points to wrap up the victory. Houston finished with 12 catches for 237 yards and two scores.

Western Illinois managed just 70 yards on the ground on 24 carries, while the Cardinals ran for 216 on 40 attempts.

Ball State athletics press release


Scoring Summary
First Quarter WestIlBallSt
BallSt TD 8:24 Justin Hall 49 yd pass from Drew Plitt (Jake Chanove kick) 0 7
Second Quarter WestIlBallSt
WestIl TD 1:58 Tony Tate 1 yd run (Mason Laramie kick) 7 7
Third Quarter WestIlBallSt
BallSt TD 10:29 Will Jones 21 yd run (Jake Chanove kick) 7 14
WestIl TD 10:17 Dennis Houston 75 yd pass from Connor Sampson (Mason Laramie kick) 14 14
BallSt TD 8:41 Justin Hall 48 yd pass from Drew Plitt (Jake Chanove kick) 14 21
Fourth Quarter WestIlBallSt
BallSt TD 12:33 Carson Steele 37 yd run (Jake Chanove kick) 14 28
BallSt FG 2:50 Jake Chanove 35 yd FG 14 31
WestIl TD 1:19 Dennis Houston 3 yd pass from Connor Sampson (Mason Laramie kick) 21 31
Team Stats
  Western Illinois Ball State
First downs 17 18
  Rushing 2 7
  Passing 14 8
  Penalty 1 3
3rd Down Efficiency 3-13, 23% 5-14, 36%
4th down efficiency 0-2, 0% 2-2, 100%
Rushes-Yards 24-70 40-216
Passing Yards 367 188
Return Yards 30 47
Completions-Attempts-Int 30-43-1 17-28-0
Sacks-Yards Lost 2--10 0-0
Punts 7 6
Punts-Average 41.4 37.8
Fumbles Lost 0-0 2-1
Penalties - Yards 7-73 5-26
Time of Possession 31:02 28:58
Western Illinois Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
C. Sampson 30 43 367 2 1
Ball State Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
D. Plitt 17 28 188 2 0
Western Illinois Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
M. Wanza 8 37 4.6 0
L. Choquette 5 23 4.6 0
G. Walker 4 5 1.3 0
C. Sampson 5 4 0.8 0
T. Tate 2 1 0.5 1
Ball State Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
W. Jones 18 93 5.2 1
C. Steele 7 79 11.3 1
D. Plitt 5 18 3.6 0
D. Marcus 4 17 4.3 0
J. Hall 4 12 3.0 0
Western Illinois Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
D. Houston 12 237 19.8 2
D. Daniels 5 39 7.8 0
D. Bender 1 34 34.0 0
L. Choquette 4 30 7.5 0
G. Walker 3 19 6.3 0
M. Sikes 1 5 5.0 0
N. Karsjens 1 4 4.0 0
J. Reed 1 0 0.0
0
T. Tate 2 -1 -.5 0
Ball State Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
J. Hall 8 137 17.1 2
Y. Tyler 4 32 8.0 0
J. Jackson 3 23 7.7 0
D. Marcus 1 3 3.0 0
J. Turner 1 -7 -7.0 0
Western Illinois Interceptions
Player Int Yards
Ball State Interceptions
Player Int Yards
N. Jones 1 0
Western Illinois Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
A. Fellner 6 255 42.5
C. Sampson 1 35 35.0
Ball State Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
N. Snyder 4 166 41.5
D. Plitt 1 33 33.0
L. Borrow 1 28 28.0
Western Illinois Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
Ball State Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
Western Illinois Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
T. Tate 2 30 15.0
Ball State Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
J. Daw 2 23 11.5
N. Jones 1 24 24.0
Western Illinois Missed FG
Player Length
Ball State Missed FG
Player Length




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