But Central Michigan (7-5, 6-2) fired back after the break, scoring on a 63-yard touchdown pass from Cooper Rush to Ross on its first possession, and then Ross' 3-yard run - his second of the game - tied it at 21.
Ross' third rushing touchdown, a 17-yarder, came after an Eastern fumble. But Ross was called for unsportsmanlike conduct after the play, and Eastern took advantage of the short field - Darius Jackson busted a 49-yard touchdown run on the next play to tie it at 28.
Central responded though, as Rush hooked up with Corey Willis for a 67-yard touchdown pass to cap a busy third quarter.
Martez Walker had 119 yards rushing for Central, while Rush finished 25 of 39 for 391 yards and two TD passes.