The University of Akron football team beat the Miami (Ohio) Redhawks on Saturday by a score of 35-13, in the Zips’ Homecoming Game.
The win improves the Zips to 4-2 on the season overall, while they are now 2-0 in conference play. The Zips are just two wins away from being Bowl Game eligible for the second straight season. Miami falls to 0-6, as they continue to rebuild their football program.
In the second straight game without starting quarterback Thomas Woodson, junior Tra’von Chapman led the Zips to victory. Chapman completed 15 of his 29 passes for 173 yards with three touchdowns and zero turnovers. Chapman also ran ten times for a team-high 80 yards with another score.
The Zips’ running backs were held in check for the first time this season, as Manny Morgan and Van Edwards combined for just 38 yards on 19 total carries.
Jojo Natson dominated in the passing game once again, catching seven passes for 82 yards and two touchdowns. Also, Jerome Lane had two catches for 14 yards, Van Edwards had two catches for 22 yards, and Austin Wolf caught one pass for 24 yards and one touchdown.
Daumantas Venckus and Brock Boxen recorded one sack each for the Zips, while budding star Ulysees Gilbert led the Zips with nine tackles. Akron got big interceptions from Larry Hope, Kyron Brown, and Nathan Bischof.
Following a Redhawks drive that resulted in a 28-yard field goal, the Zips’ offense got off to a great start, as Chapman ran for 70 yards to the end zone for his second rushing touchdown of the season.
After recording a defensive stop, the Zips came right back with another touchdown to push the score to 14-3. The score came off a 24-yard pass from Chapman to Austin Wolf.
Chapman came back halfway through the second quarter with a 22-yard touchdown to stud receiver Jojo Natson, who was wide open down the right sideline. The Zips lead 21-6 at the half after Miami’s 24-yard field goal with just over three minutes left.
Akron struggled early in the third quarter, as they had three 3-and-outs in their first three possessions, while giving up a Miami touchdown. One positive was a Larry Hope interception, the first in his Zips’ career.
The Zips got back to business with just under four minutes left in the third quarter, when the Zips’ Nathan Bischof intercepted a Noah Wezensky pass and returned it all the way to the Miami 16-yard line.
Mykel Traylor-Bennett would pound the football into the end zone for his third touchdown in the past two weeks to give the Zips a 28-13 advantage. Akron would take that lead into the fourth quarter.
The Zips got their third interception of the game just under two minutes into the fourth quarter, as freshman Kyron Brown recorded his second career interception.
On the very next play, Chapman found Natson again for a touchdown, this time from 32 yards out to make the score 35-13 Zips. The two touchdowns give him seven total through six games this season.
Unfortunately, Natson came off the field holding his shoulder, and didn’t return to the game. It will be a big loss for the Zips if he misses any time.
The Zips would be able to stop the Redhawks the rest of the way out while they ran the clock out.
The Zips will get back at it on Saturday, October 15th when they host the 25th-ranked Western Michigan Broncos at Infocision Stadium at 3:30.