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Ball State 34, Toledo 27

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TOLEDO, Ohio -- Facing elimination in the Mid-American Conference West Division title chase, Ball State slipped past Toledo 34-27 Tuesday night to stay alive.

The Cardinals snapped Toledo's eight-game winning streak by putting together a long scoring drive. Ball State won for the fourth time this season on a late fourth-quarter possession.

Jahwan Edwards scored on a 15-yard run with 1:43 left for the game-winner.

Ball State (7-3, 4-2 MAC) had to overcome three interceptions thrown by quarterback Keith Wenning.

Tailback David Fluellen gained 200 yards on 34 carries for Toledo (8-2, 5-1), which still controls its own destiny in the MAC West race.

The Cardinals lost an early two-touchdown lead, and the teams were tied 17-17 at the half. Ball State went back in front on its first possession of the second half when Wenning hit Jamill Smith with a 3-yard touchdown pass.

The Cardinals missed a 35-yard field-goal try on their next possession, and Toledo's Jeremiah Detmer kicked a 22-yard field goal to pull the Rockets within 24-20 with less than two minutes left in the third quarter.

On Ball State's next play, Toledo linebacker Dan Molls intercepted a Wenning pass and set the Rockets up at the Ball State 25. Fluellen scored on a fourth-down play from the 16-yard line, and Toledo had its first lead of the night at 27-24 as the fourth quarter opened.

The Cardinals evened the score again with a 30-yard field goal from Steven Schott with under 10 minutes to play. Toledo squandered a red-zone opportunity with about six minutes left when Fluellen was stuffed on fourth down at the Ball State 14.

While the Rockets came into the game flirting with a spot in the national Top 25, it was Ball State that got off to a hot start. The Cardinals scored on their first two possessions behind the hot arm of Wenning, who connected on 12 passes in a row.

Wenning first picked his way down the field and eventually found Smith for a 6-yard touchdown. Schott's extra point gave Ball State a 7-0 lead about four minutes into the game.

After a Toledo punt, Wenning was back in business. He quickly moved the Cardinals to the Toledo 25, then hit Connor Ryan with a touchdown pass for a 14-0 lead.

The Rockets settled down behind the running of Fluellen, who broke loose for 31 yards, then had a 36-yard touchdown run called back. On the next play, Toledo quarterback Terrance Owens found Bernard Reedy open in the end zone for a 24-yard score. Detmer's kick brought the Rockets within 14-7 with 1:30 left in the opening quarter.

After Toledo forced a three-and-out as the quarter ended, Owens hit Reedy on 32- and 13-yard connections, and a late hit moved the Rockets deeper into Ball State territory. A penalty negated a Fluellen touchdown for a second time, and Toledo settled for a 29-yard Detmer field goal, slicing the deficit to 14-10.

An exchange of turnovers followed, with Toledo's Byron Best intercepting Wenning inside the Toledo 20, and Ball State's Tony Martin picking up a Fluellen fumble at the Cardinals' 35 and taking it back 54 yards to the Rockets' 11.

A penalty-plagued possession left the Cardinals with a 24-yard Schott field goal and a 17-10 lead.

Toledo subsequently marched 84 yards in eight plays to even the score at the half, with Cassius McDowell scoring on a 4-yard run.

NOTES: Ball State lost tight end David Schneider for the remainder of the season when he dislocated his ankle early in the first quarter. Schneider had to be carted off the field. ... Toledo starting safety Mark Singer, who injured his knee the previous week against Buffalo, was a late scratch from the active roster. ... Prior to meeting Toledo, the Cardinals had won three games this season on their final possession. ... At 32 years old, Toledo's Matt Campbell is the youngest head coach in the Football Bowl Subdivision.
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