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Ohio rolls with 52 points in middle two quarters

Bobcats blow out Cardinals 52-14

ATHENS Ohio ran up 52 points in the middle two quarters of a 52-14 blowout of Ball State on Thursday night at Peden Stadium.

Down 7-0, The Bobcats scored 31 points in the second quarter to take command and then added on 21 more points in the third quarter, allowing the starts to rest before the start of the fourth quarter.

Ohio (5-3, 3-1 Mid-American Conference) racked up 411 rushing yards and 554 yards of total offense while continuing to show much improvement on defense by giving up just 242 yards.

A.J. Ouellette led the way with 135 yards on 13 carries, Maleek Irons topped 100 yards for the second straight game with 102 on 16 attempts, and Nathan Rourke ran eight times for 77 yards. All three ran for a pair of touchdowns.

Irons tied the game at 7 on the first play of the second quarter with a 6-yard touchdown run before a Louis Zervos 23-yard field goal gave Ohio a 10-7 lead. Ouellette scored on a 9-yard run and Rourke a 2-yard run, the latter coming with 1:23 left in the first half to make it 24-7.

That was enough time for the Bobcats to get a three-and-out and then use four plays to add yet another touchdown on an Andrew Meyer 21-yard touchdown catch from Rourke with two seconds left in the half.

In the third quarter, Ohio scored touchdown runs of 3 yards by Rourke, 44 yards by Ouellette and 1 yard by Irons.

Rourke finished 11 of 19 passing for 127 yards and a touchdown with one interception. Meyer was his top target, making four receptions for 50 yards.

Riley Miller caught an 18-yard touchdown pass from Riley Neal with 4:06 left in the first quarter to give the Cardinals a 7-0 lead, but they did add more points onto the board again until 2:53 left in the game on a Drew Plitt 8-yard scoring run.

Plitt was 9 of 17 passing for 86 yards and an interception in relief of Neal, who went 7 of 15 for 76 yards. James Gilbert had nine carries for 52 yards. Ball State managed just 80 yards rushing.

Ohio hits the road to face Western Michigan at 7 p.m. Thursday at Waldo Stadium in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

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