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Posted on Sat, Sep 18, 2010 : 8:53 p.m.

Central Michigan in control against Eastern Michigan football team, 52-14

By Kaleb Roedel

Central Michigan and junior running back Paris Cotton started fast and finished strong at Eastern Michigan on Saturday.

Paris finished with 209 yards rushing and three touchdowns at Rynearson Stadium as Eastern lost its 15th consecutive game, 52-14.

“We played a good Central team and we weren’t good enough today. We really wanted to be competitive,” Eastern Michigan coach Ron English said. Eastern is 0-3, 0-2 in the Mid-American Conference.


Eastern Michigan quarterback Alex Gillett, left, is sacked by Central Michigan's Joe Kinville in the first quarter Saturday.

Lon Horwedel |

Paris, who had never rushed for more than 100 yards in a game, opened the second-half with a 61-yard touchdown run.

“That’s how he (Cotton) practices - full speed,” Central Michigan coach Dan Enos said. “It doesn’t surprise any of the staff that he had a breakout game.”

Central (2-1, 1-1) opened the game with an eight-play, three-minute drive capped by a 21-yard touchdown strike from Ryan Radcliff to Cody Wilson.

Radcliff finished with a game-high 254 yards on 15-for-23 passing, while Wilson caught three balls for a game-high 100 yards.

Central Michigan (2-1) kept Eastern Michigan (0-3) in its rearview mirror the rest of the way.

EMU, which didn’t have a rusher over 50 yards, had moments of offensive success.

In the second quarter, freshman quarterback Devontae Payne took over for sophomore starter Alex Gillett and marched Eastern to Central’s red zone. A late-hit and pass interference penalty later, the Eagles sat on the 2-yard-line, where Dwayne Priest punched in to cut Central’s lead to 14-7. Priest led Eastern with 49 yards on 16 carries.

“We just felt like it was really important to develop (Payne),” said English of the quarterback switch. “I think the important thing is to get him out there playing. He’s talented and going to be a good player for us.”

Eastern found the end zone for a final time in the middle of the third on a quick drive featuring Gillett, who reentered in the second half, floating a ball down the right sideline to Donald Scott for a 54-yard touchdown.

Gillett finished 12-of-20 passing for 148 yards and Payne was 13-of-24 for 134.

Meanwhile, the Eagles couldn’t keep the Chippewa offense - which finished with 523 yards to Eastern’s 358 - off the field. And when they finally did early in the fourth quarter, Central’s defense joined the scoring-mix when linebacker Mike Petrucci scooped a Gillett fumble and scored on a 40-yard touchdown return.

“I don’t think the game really got out of hand until the Gillett fumble. We really were not competitive toward the end of the game,” said English, whose team lost by a total of 11 points in its first two games.

“We’ve had a couple of close losses. When you get blown out, there are not a lot of positives to take away from it.”

Kaleb Roedel is a sports writer for He can be reached at (734)623-2562 and e-mailed at Follow him on Twitter @Kaleb_R.



Mon, Sep 20, 2010 : 10:23 a.m.

Are you kidding me? He says the turning point in the game was the Gillett fumble. Why can't he do like a real coach should do and correct the real problem and not blame it on a individual player. In the last two years he has had three different quarterbacks start with no wins. He had two playing against CMU and both were First and goal coming out with no points. A defense that gives up 500 plus yards. English needs to face the real problem that it might be coaching staff and play calling.


Mon, Sep 20, 2010 : 8:20 a.m.

I dont think the game really got out of hand until the Gillett fumble.... Are you kidding me. There is no question a fumble for this team is not good. The defense allows 52 points and the coach calls out an offensive player. From what I've seen Gillett is on of the best players English has. He's been running for his life every play and is still the leading passer and rusher. Now you start pulling him from the game to develop another player? I guess if he had not fumbled 45 to 14 is a much easier margin to deal with for English.


Sun, Sep 19, 2010 : 4:41 p.m.

Why do they keep blaming the quarterback for the problems on the team? It's obvious that the defense is what they should be focusing their attention on fixing. It wouldn't matter who the quarterback was, if the defense isn't won't matter. Also, whoever is making the offensive play calls..needs replaced.


Sun, Sep 19, 2010 : 1:36 p.m.

i think eastern needs to start with karcher. he should goback to high school football. college level is crearly over his head. he has the strength on offense. he is out of touch on how to utilize it. for one let gillett play to his strength. he is wasteing great talent. payne is not the answer. he needs more time. finally go on e-bay and get a new defense.


Sun, Sep 19, 2010 : 10:05 a.m.

Another game another loss....I know, maybe they should waste money on another practice facility I'm sure academics doesn't need any attention


Sun, Sep 19, 2010 : 8:14 a.m.

when you start talking about close losses in a positive light, you are in trouble. EMU should drop to 1-AA or FCS or what ever they call it. They simply cannot compete at the D1 level. hopefully the basketball team will be competitive this year. we need something positive to come out of those two programs very soon.