CLEVELAND (Sept. 3) -- Three Mid-American Conference football teams opened the season Thursday night with eight
others kicking off the campaign on Saturday. Central Michigan was the lone MAC member to win on
Thursday, beating Eastern Illinois 33-17. Toledo dropped a 35-12 contest to Syracuse from the Big East
and Northern Illinois fell to Western Illinois 27-21.
Syracuse 35, Toledo 12
Dee Brown rushed for 136 yards and two touchdowns (6 and 43 yards) to pace the Orangemen.
After the Rockets stopped Syracuse on its first four possessions, the Big East team scored the next four
times it had the ball. Brown's six-yard jaunt with 1:42 remaining in the first quarter broke a scoreless tie.
Toledo scored its first points on a 40-yard Todd
France field goal with 3:56 remaining on the third quarter
clock. UT's Antwon McCray crossed the goal line from 11-yards out with three minutes left in the game for
UT's lone touchdown and the Rockets added a safety on a Syracuse fumble.
Anxious moments filled the air with 1:28 left in the game when Toledo defensive end
DeJuan Goulde collapsed when he suffered an attack of bronchial spasms. Goulde was treated by the Rocket
medical staff on the sideline and was then taken to Toledo Hospital for observations and tests. He was
expected to be released from the hospital on Friday. According to team physician
Roger Kruse, Goulde had been suffering from a bronchial infection before the game but was cleared to play. Goulde started and
recorded 10 tackles during the game. Officials suspended the game at the 1:28 mark.
Toledo's next game is Sept. 16 at Ball State while the Orangemen open their home schedule Sept.
11 versus MAC member Central Michigan.
Central Michigan 33, Eastern Illinois 17
All-MAC tailback Eric Flowers rushed for 157 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Chippewas to
the win. Flowers scored on runs of one and 15-yards for a 12-0 CMU lead. Both PATs failed. A 19-yard
scoring run by Vince Webber pushed the halftime cushion to 19-0. Chips quarterback
Pete Shepherd hooked up with Jammarl
O'Neal on a 57-yard scoring pass and Flowers added another one-yard TD run in
the fourth quarter for CMU. Shepherd completed 12-of-21 passes for 221 yards. EIU's
J.R. Taylor scored on a five-yard run and tossed a 27-yard TD pass to
Rahsaan Smith. CMU plays next Saturday at
Syracuse and EIU travels to Hawaii for a Sept. 11 game.
Western Illinois 27, Northern Illinois 21
NIU took an early 7-0 lead on a four-yard run by
Williams Andrews, but the Leathernecks answered
with 27 straight points, including 20 in the second quarter. Two third quarter TD passes from
Frisman Jackson to Justin McCareins (16 yards) and
Darrell Hill (17 yards) closed the gap to six but the Huskies
could get no closer. WIU's final touchdown came on a blocked punt return by
J.R. Ford for a 27-7 lead at the time. The Huskie's
William Andrews rushed for a career high 126 yards and
Frisman Jackson added 78 as NIU rolled up 241 yards on the ground. WIU's
Charles Tharp led all rushers with 128 yards. NIU
is at Vanderbilt next week while WIU hosts Mississippi Valley in its home opener.