Ball State beats Western Michigan after forward lateral nullifies crazy last-second bench-clearing TD

Ball State is extremely thankful that officials were paying close attention to Western Michigan’s final play on Saturday.

The Cardinals took a 30-27 lead over the Broncos with 32 seconds to go. WMU didn’t get close enough to the end zone for a game-tying field goal so the Broncos had to try a last-gasp play for a game-winning TD.

That last-gasp play included 15 laterals and the entire Ball State team rushing the field. And it almost worked. Here’s how it unfolded as WMU wide receiver Skyy Moore scored what the Broncos hoped would be a game-winning score with Ball State’s players all over the field.

The forward lateral was called as an illegal forward pass on the field not long after it was thrown on the eighth lateral of the play. Western Michigan fumbled the ball a few laterals later and the entire Ball State bench apparently thought the fumble had been recovered and the play was over. That’s the only explanation why the team stormed the field.

The fumble wasn’t recovered, however. Western Michigan kept playing, even as Ball State players were on the field. That’s how Moore ended up with the ball and a clear path to the end zone.

Ball State was flagged for having the bench come onto the field. But that penalty came after the forward pass. And since it was a dead ball foul, it didn’t offset with the forward pass penalty and Ball State won the game.

The game was incredibly important too. The winner won the MAC West division. That means the Cardinals will take on undefeated Buffalo for the MAC title on Friday night.

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