(Saturday, October 3rd)
Final Score: Toledo 37, Ball State 30
Muncie, IN (Sports Network) - Aaron Opelt threw a 51-yard touchdown pass to Stephen Williams with 27 seconds remaining, giving the Toledo Rockets a thrilling 37-30 victory over the Ball State Cardinals in Mid-American Conference action.
The Cardinals grabbed 30-29 lead just 15 seconds earlier, but Toledo had a good return on the kickoff and then Opelt capped his terrific performance with the touchdown pass.
Opelt finished the game with 422 yards and five touchdowns on 30-of-38 pass attempts, as Toledo (3-1, 1-0 MAC) won it second game in a row. Eric Page hauled in 11 balls for 152 yards and a score, while Williams ended with 10 receptions for 231 yards and two touchdowns.
For BSU (0-5, 0-1), Kelly Page connected on 25-of-41 tosses for 234 yards and a pair of touchdowns despite being sacked five times. Briggs Orsbon was his main target with 10 catches for 88 yards and a score, while Torieal Gibson made seven receptions for 54 yards and a touchdown.
The Rockets scored on the opening drive of the game, as Opelt threw a 39-yard touchdown pass to Page just over four minutes into the contest. The pass capped an 11-play, 87-yard drive.
Ian McGarvey kicked a pair of field goals late in the first period and BSU trailed by just a point after the initial quarter.
The Cardinals took their first lead midway through the second quarter, as Page capped a 15-play, 84-yard drive with a six-yard scoring strike to Orsbon.
Toledo, however, countered just before the half, as Opelt threw a five-yard touchdown pass to Tom Burzine. The drive consisted of eight plays and 71 yards, giving the Rockets a 14-13 lead at the intermission.
The only points of the third quarter came from McGarvey, who booted a 25-yard field goal to put BSU ahead, 16-14.
The Cardinals added to their lead midway though the fourth quarter when MiQuale Lewis rumbled two yards to paydirt. The extra-point attempt failed, leaving BSU with a 22-14 advantage.
Toledo knotted the game less than two minutes later when Opelt threw a 51-yard touchdown strike to Williams and then converted a two-point try.
Just under two minutes later, the Rockets pulled ahead behind a four-yard touchdown pass from Opelt to Burzine.
The Cardinals then put together a 10-play, 66-yard drive in which they capped with a 10-yard scoring strike from Page to Gibson with 42 seconds left. BSU passed on the extra-point and instead successful converted a two-point try for a 30-29 lead.
Toledo benefited from a solid return on the ensuing kickoff and then Opelt hooked up with Williams on the first play for the game-wining 51-yard touchdown pass with 27 seconds left.
The Rockets outgained the Cardinals 479-310 on the day, as they overcame three turnovers and 12 penalties for the win.
10/03 17:20:46 ET