CMU Escapes Upset-Minded Rhode Island

MT. PLEASANT – Central Michigan opened its 2017 season by escaping with a 30-27 triple overtime win over Rhode Island at Kelly/Shorts Stadium on Thursday.

Leading 21-7 early in the fourth quarter, the Chippewas (1-0) watched their 14-point lead disappear, as Tyler Harris connected with Aaron Parker for a 14-yard touchdown with 2:23 remaining to the send the game into overtime.

After trading field goals in the first overtime period and neither team scoring in the second, Devon Spalding scored from 4 yards out in the third overtime for the win.

In his first game as a starter at CMU, quarterback Shane Morris was 25-of-49 for a 226 yards with a touchdown and interception.

Johnathon Ward led the Chippewa run game with 153 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries, while Spalding rushed 20 times for 70 yards.

CMU outgained Rhode Island 246-108 on the ground and tallied 499 yards of total offense.

After a scoreless opening quarter, the Chippewa took a 13-0 lead to the half.

CMU hits the road next week, visiting Kansas. Kickoff is 4 p.m.