Central Michigan Tops Northern Illinois On Senior Day

MT. PLEASANT – Central Michigan wrapped up its regular season with a strong second half performance, leading the Chippewas to a 31-24 victory over Northern Illinois.

CMU scored all 31 points in the second half, including 24 unanswered coming out of halftime. Josh Cox sealed the victory with an interception late in the game.

Jonathan Ward led the way with 159 rushing yards and a touchdown. He also had a 4-yard touchdown reception. Shane Morris passed for 247 yards and 3 touchdowns, with the scores going to Ward, Mark Chapman and Corey Willis. With the TD, Willis passed Antonio Brown for third all-time at CMU in touchdown receptions.

“It means the world, just to get eight wins,” Willis said. “You know, it’s something that we’ve always had a goal, since I’ve came in, try to push the program forward. And I can honestly say I feel like that we left a legacy, and that we pushed the program forward.”

St. Ignace alum Joe Ostman had one sack and two tackles for loss in his final home game as a Chippewa. It was Ostman’s 12th sack of the season and 26th of his career. The senior is now ranked second in CMU history in career sacks.

“This game was a perfect example of what momentum does in a football game,” Ostman said. “You see the first half, the way that they dominated us. But, once we got rolling in the second half, and started executing, and got that momentum rolling, it was a completely different game.”

The Chippewas finish the regular season with an 8-4 record, winning their last five games. With a 6-2 conference record, CMU finishes second in the MAC West behind Toledo.