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Ohio build lead, tops Central Michigan 34-20

Bangura rushes for 126 yards

ATHENS – Ohio jumped out to an early lead and finished off its home schedule with a 34-20 victory against Central Michigan on Wednesday night at Peden Stadium.

Sieh Bangura rushed for 126 yards, and O’Shaan Allison scored a pair of touchdowns as the Bobcats (8-3, 5-2 Mid-American Conference) controlled the game by scoring the first 17 points.

The victory snapped a long losing streak to the Chippewas (5-6, 3-4 MAC) and was the first for the Bobcats in the series since 2011 and their first at home since 2000.

"I've only beat them one time," Ohio coach Tim Albin said. "Coach (Frank) Solich and myself talked about it on the phone. I didn't mention it to anybody in this in this building, it's not about Tim, it's not about Dwayne (Dixon), but it's certainly in the back of my mind. Central beat us twice in the championship game in Detroit. We've had some unbelievable games down to the wire. You just wouldn't believe and I'm just really ecstatic for them with the win. But tonight was about those seniors and their legacy and we're at eight wins now and, and moving forward, we've got an unbelievable opportunity to get to nine."

Despite the win, Ohio was eliminated from MAC title contention with Miami’s victory against Buffalo.

Gianni Spetic kicked a 39-yard field goal before a Shane Bonner 21-yard interception return that made it 10-0 in favor of Ohio in the first quarter. Allison scored the first of his two 1-yard touchdowns with 8:19 left in the half to make it a 17-point game.

"We've been talking about scoring on defense for a couple of weeks, so I just took the ball and ran with it," Bonner said.

Tyson Davis got the Chippewas on the scoreboard with a 50-yard touchdown catch before halftime, making it 17-7.

Kurtis Rourke scored on a 16-yard run to begin the second half for the Bobcats. Central Michigan got its second long touchdown pass when Chris Parker was left wide open and scored from 62 yards out.

But Ohio answered with Allison’s second short touchdown, and it was 31-14. Marion Lukes scored on a 14-yard run with 14:18 left in the game, but that was it for the Chippewas. Spetic kicked a 33-yard field goal with 6:07 left.

Rourke was 15-of-23 passing for 222 yards, sharing the ball to his wide receivers and tight ends. Miles Cross (53 yards), Sam Wiglusz (51 yard), Will Kacmarek (44 yards) and Ty Walton (27 yards) all had three catches.

Lukes had 15 carries for 75 yards for Central Michigan, and most of quarterback Jase Bauer’s 157 passing yards came on the two long touchdowns. He was 10-of-21 passing.

Bryce Houston and Keye Thompson again led the defense for the Bobcats, making nine tackles each.

The Bobcats overcame eight penalties for 85 yards, several of them extending drives for the Chippewas.

Ohio completes its regular season at noon Nov. 24 at Akron.

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