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(updated 4:20 a.m.) Falcons win MAC title, thump Northern Illinois (12-6-13) PDF Print E-mail
Written by JACK CARLE Sentinel Sports Editor   
Saturday, 07 December 2013 00:50
BG's Jerry "BooBoo" Gates (24) raises the MAC championship trophy as teammates celebrate around him after defeating NIU Friday December 6, 2013 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
DETROIT — Bowling Green Falcon football is back on the map.With all the media focus on Northern Illinois with its national rankings, the possibility of a BCS bowl for the Huskies, and a Heisman Trophy candidate in Jordan Lynch, the Falcons were almost an afterthought going into Friday’s Mid-American Conference championship game.The Falcons proved to be the better team, posting a 47-27 victory over the Huskies. It’s Bowling Green’s first MAC title since the 1992 season.‘‘This is a group that just kept working and getting better, and I still think we played our best football tonight of the year,’’ BG head coach Dave Clawson.  PHOTO GALLERY
The Falcons secured the win with an offense that was in an attack mode from the start, and a defensive effort that made Lynch earn every yard he gained.
The offensive game plan was to throw the ball, and the Falcons were successful behind Matt Johnson, the offensive line, and the receiving corps.
“We were going to throw it. We thought we could throw it. We thought we could get open, we thought we could protect.’’ Clawson said.  ‘‘They have a great quarterback that deserves all the accolades he’s gotten. We have a really good quarterback, too.”
Johnson was 21-of-27 passing for 393 yards and five touchdowns.
Defensively, the Falcons kept enough pressure on Lynch that he was not able to take control of the game.
‘‘They had a good game plan coming into the game. They were fast, they were physical, they (made) some turnovers,’’ Lynch said about the Falcons. ‘‘Their defense wanted it, and they did a good job.’’
Clawson said the Falcons have a very sound defense, and it showed against Lynch.
‘‘At the end of the day, you’ve got to defeat the blocks, you’ve have to stay in your gap and then when you have the chance to make a play you have to tackle him (Lynch),’’ Clawson said.
Cornerback Aaron Foster said the Falcons played well defensively.
‘‘We played really hard,’’ Foster said. ‘‘When you run to the ball and you tackle, it really makes it hard for offenses to have success.’’
Bowling Green's Tyler Beck (89) is congratulated by teammates Travis Greene and Logan Dietz (right) as Alex Bayer (82) celebrates in the backgroud after a touchdown by Beck during the MAC Football Championship game against Northern Illinois at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan.
The Falcons scored first, just 2:33 into the game, on Johnson’s 28-yard pass to Tyler Beck.
After NIU tied the game, 3:14 later, the Falcons took over.
Tyler Tate kicked a 26-yard field goal and Johnson found Ronnie Moore with a 36-yard scoring pass as Bowling Green led 17-7 after the first quarter.
BG’s defense held NIU to field goals on the Huskies’ next two possessions after Moore’s touchdown.
Johnson then connected with Heath Jackson on a 22-yard TD, and Alex Bayer on a 12-yard score to take a 31-13 lead into the half.
Travis Greene fumbled at BG’s 49-yard line with 1:22 left in the first half, and the momentum could have swung to the Huskies.
However, BG’s Brian Sutton tipped a Lynch pass at the line of scrimmage and teammate Ted Ouellet came down with the ball.
After the interception, Johnson rushed twice for nine yards, and was 4-of-5 passing for 42 yards, including the TD pass to Bayer which gave BG the 18-point lead at the half.
NIU scored the only touchdown of the third quarter, but the Falcons put the game away in the fourth quarter.
Tate kicked a 52-yard field goal,  Greene scored on a 6-yard shovel pass from Johnson after an interception by Foster, and Greene closed out the scoring with a 16-yard run.
NIU scored its final touchdown with 13 seconds remaining in the game.
‘‘They came out and played a great first half. We responded in the second half, but it was too big a hole ... They just making plays when they had to,’’ NIU head coach Rod Carey said about the Falcons.
Last Updated on Saturday, 07 December 2013 09:56

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