Central Michigan edges Western Kentucky 24-21


Central Michigan edges Western Kentucky 24-21

DETROIT (AP) Coaching Western Kentucky for one game before moving on to an uncertain future, Lance Guidry had to make a crucial decision with the game on the line.

Fourth down, 51 seconds remaining. Kick a field goal and play for overtime, or go for the win?

``That was all the players. We were going to kick the field goal, but they told me that they were here to win the game,'' Guidry said. ``I asked everyone and they wanted to go for it so we took the chance.''

The Hilltoppers went for it and the move backfired when Kawaun Jakes threw incomplete on fourth-and-2 from the 19-yard line, giving Central Michigan a 24-21 win Wednesday night in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl. Even so, there was little regret afterward.

``I'm going to get back to my family, because I haven't seen them in a while,'' Guidry said. ``Then I'm off to the coaches' convention to try to find a job.''

Guidry was Western Kentucky's defensive coordinator, but he was put in charge on an interim basis for this bowl after coach Willie Taggart left to take over the program at South Florida. Next season, Bobby Petrino will coach the Hilltoppers.

The finish to this game - Western Kentucky's first bowl since joining college football's top tier in 2009 - won't be forgotten any time soon. Ryan Radcliff had thrown an 11-yard touchdown pass to Cody Wilson with 5:11 remaining to give Central Michigan (7-6) the lead, but the Hilltoppers (7-6) drove back down the field until their chances ended when Jakes' pass intended for Jack Doyle fell incomplete.

``I don't know what I would have done,'' Central Michigan coach Dan Enos said. ``But I will never second-guess a coach for trying to win.''

Radcliff went 19 of 29 for 253 yards and three touchdowns, but Central Michigan needed to rally late.

Down 21-17, Zurlon Tipton appeared to have put the Chippewas ahead in the fourth quarter, but his fourth-down run was ruled short of the goal line after a review.

``When we didn't get the touchdown, we knew we had to stop them right there,'' linebacker Shamari Benton said. ``We knew that we just needed to give the offense one more shot.''

Central Michigan forced the Hilltoppers to punt from their own end zone, and Avery Cunningham partially blocked it. Although the ball bounced around for a bit, the Chippewas finally secured it and took over with great field position inside the 30.

Radcliff found Wilson in the back left corner of the end zone for a 24-21 lead.

Petrino, the Hilltoppers' coach-in-waiting, was expected to be at Ford Field watching his new team, but a snowstorm forced him to scrap those plans. Western Kentucky started aggressively.

Down 7-0, the Hilltoppers ran a flea-flicker on their first play from scrimmage, with Antonio Andrews running to his right, then tossing the ball back to Jakes, who found Rico Brown for a 70-yard gain.

Two plays later, Jakes scored on a 6-yard run to tie it.

Central Michigan answered with a 73-yard drive that ended with Andrew Flory's 29-yard touchdown reception, his second of the quarter.

David Harman's 50-yard field goal put the Chippewas up 17-7, but Jakes threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Doyle, with the tight end making a one-handed catch to pull Western Kentucky within three.

Harman had a field goal blocked later in the half, and although the Chippewas were in range for another attempt in the final minute, Radcliff was sacked and fumbled. He was able to recover, but the last few seconds of the half ticked off.

Western Kentucky took a 21-17 lead in the third on a 1-yard scoring run by Kadeem Jones, which capped an 80-yard drive that used 9:23.

Andrews rushed for 119 yards, but he fell short of the 274 all-purpose yards he needed to break the single-season record of 3,250 set by Oklahoma State's Barry Sanders in 1988. Andrews, a junior, had 184 all-purpose yards to finish the season at 3,161.

``I fell short this year, but I'll be going for that record again next year,'' he said.

Central Michigan took a 7-0 lead on a 69-yard touchdown pass from Radcliff to Flory. Western Kentucky safety Jonathan Dowling whiffed on a tackle near midfield, and Flory was gone.

Dowling had a chance to make up for that mistake early in the third quarter, but with his team down 17-14, he dropped an interception near midfield that he could have easily returned for a touchdown.

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Eagles' Michael Bennett allegedly injured elderly worker; arrest warrant issued

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Eagles' Michael Bennett allegedly injured elderly worker; arrest warrant issued

Philadelphia Eagles lineman Michael Bennett has been indicted on felony abuse for allegedly pushing an elderly NRG Stadium worker during Super Bowl LI.

Bennett was indicted by the Harris County, Texas district attorney's office for injury to the elderly — which is intentionally and knowingly causing injury to a person 65 years or older, according to a press release from the Harris County Sheriffs' Office.

A warrant has been issued for Bennett's arrest.

The 66-year-old paraplegic stadium worker was attempting to control field access when Bennett allegedly pushed her. 

The maximum penalty Bennett faces is ten years in prison in addition to a $10,000 fine.


Bennett — whose brother Martellus played in that Super Bowl for New England — was a member of the Seattle Seahawks during the incident and was in attendance as a noncompetitive player.

The NFL has been made aware of the situation and is looking into the matter, according to Pro Football Talk.

The 32-year-old 10-year NFL veteran could potentially face NFL discipline under the league's personal conduct policy. 


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Wizards host students from Stoneman Douglas High School ahead of 'March For Our Lives'

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Wizards host students from Stoneman Douglas High School ahead of 'March For Our Lives'

With a march on Washington planned for this weekend following the mass shooting in Parkland, FL, students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School were invited by the Wizards to attend their Friday morning practice at Capital One Arena.

About 20 of the kids showed up to watch the Wizards practice, took pictures with players, got a tour of the facilities and walked away with Wizards hats and gear. It was a small break away from what has been a tumultous time ever since the massacre at their school on Feb. 14.

Wizards majority owner Ted Leonsis was on hand to speak with the students, who are set to lead the 'March For Our Lives' through downtown Washington on Saturday.


Wizards guard Bradley Beal met with the media after taking photos with the students.

"For us to be able to take their mind off of it for just a few minutes is always a great feeling," Beal said. "At the end of the day, we're all human beings regardless of our careers are and what our jobs are. A lot of us have families, kids, brothers and sisters. The last thing that you want to happen is what happened to several of those families. You can never imagine."

Beal went to college in Florida and has participated in his own forms of activism. He has found inspiration in the efforts by Stoneman Douglas students. They have taken what happened to their school as a catalyst for what they hope produces change in the ability to protect similar attacks from happening again.


Beal, 24, finds that admirable.

"It's amazing sometimes to learn from the youth on how to do things," Beal said. "It's a testament to where our world needs to lead to, to where we need to get to and to come together as a society. It starts with us as the younger generation. We've gotta come together with love and do things like this. I think what they're doing is awesome. It's spreading positive vibes and it's true humanitarian work that they're doing."

The Stoneman Douglas students are expected to attend Friday night's Wizards-Nuggets game as well.

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