OXFORD, Ohio (AP) Backup quarterback AJ Mayer threw two fourth-quarter touchdown passes to rally Miami (OH) to a 28-17 victory over Central Michigan in a Mid-American Conference opener on Saturday.
Starting QB Brett Gabbert staked the RedHawks (2-3, 1-0) to a 14-0 first-quarter lead with touchdown strikes to Andrew Homer and Jack Sorenson, covering 24 and 36 yards, respectively. Miami was leading 14-7 when an injury sidelined Gabbert late in the second quarter. Marshall Meeder's 39-yard field goal was the only scoring in the third quarter, cutting the Chippewas' deficit to four points. Daniel Richardson gave Central Michigan a 17-14 lead on an 11-yard TD toss to Dallas Dixon with 1:25 gone in the fourth quarter. But Mayer connected with Nate Muersch for a 23-yard TD on the ensuing possession and wrapped up the win with a 11-yard scoring strike to Sorenson with 7:44 left to play.
Mayer completed 13 of 18 passes for 179 yards with one interception for the RedHawks. Gabbert completed 12 of 20 throws for 171 yards before leaving. Mac Hippenhammer hauled in eight passes for 170 yards, while Keyon Mozee rushed for 83 yards on 13 carries.
Richardson was 22-of-41 passing for 326 yards and two TDs - including a 41-yarder to JaCorey Sullivan in the second quarter for the Chippewas (2-3, 0-1). Dixon finished with seven receptions for 113 yards.
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