Michigan State opens with win over Broncos

KALAMAZOO — The Western Michigan football team showed grit and character, going toe-to-toe with No. 5 ranked Michigan State in front of a capacity Waldo Stadium crowd of 30,885 Friday in the 2015 season opener.

The Broncos fell by a final score of 37-24 but had several shining moments in the game, including a 100-yard touchdown kickoff return by sophomore Darius Phillips that tied the game at 7-7.

Junior wide receiver Corey Davis had 10 receptions for 154 yards and one touchdown, making an elite grab in the third quarter that was tabbed as the offensive play of the game. Redshirt junior quarterback Zach Terrell set career highs for pass attempts and completions, going 33-for-50 for 365 yards. Junior Daniel Braverman also had a career night with 13 receptions for 109 yards.

Western Michigan had one turnover in the first half, a tipped pass interception just outside the red zone that Michigan State was able to convert into a touchdown at 9:09 in the first quarter.

Rather than hanging their heads, the Broncos punched back and Phillips turned the corner on the ensuing kickoff, racing down the left sideline for a 100-yard touchdown return.

Under the command of senior Heisman candidate Connor Cook, Michigan State’s offense got rolling before halftime, scoring three touchdowns to open a 27-7 lead. Madre London rushed for a seven-yard TD, Josiah Price caught a nine-yard touchdown and Gerald Holmes punched in an eight-yard run. Western Michigan’s defense, however, successfully defended a two-point conversion.

The Broncos continued to show resiliency, forcing and successfully recovering two fumbles in the first half. The first fumble on a sack by Nathan Braster was called back and negated after a holding call.

On the very next play, Jayson Sylva delivered a big hit to force another fumble, which was recovered by Rontavious Atkins. The Bronco offense missed out on a key scoring opportunity however going three and out. On second down Braverman had a step on the defense with the end zone in sight and could not bring in Terrell’s pass.

On the Broncos’ next drive Andrew Haldeman booted a 22-yard field goal to put the score at 27-10 at halftime.

MSU’s Cook continued his impressive play in the third quarter, finding DeAnthony Arnett for a 21-yard touchdown reception to extend the Spartans’ lead to 34-17. The Broncos fired back with two touchdown drives of their own to cut the deficit to 10 points, 34-24.

WMU’s Davis capped a 15-play, 75 yard-drive with his 17-yard touchdown snag with 1:37 left in the third quarter, and sophomore tight end Jeremiah Mullinax pulled in a 29-yard touchdown with 11:09 remaining in the fourth. It was Mullinax’s first career reception and touchdown.

Michigan State added a 21-yard field goal with 7:42 left to bring its point total to 37.

Western Michigan threatened on a drive in the final minutes of the game, marching down to the MSU seven-yard line, but came up empty handed. Terrell’s pass to Davis on 1st-and-goal was off the mark

and intercepted by the Spartan defense. Michigan State went on to run out the clock for the 13-point victory.

Michigan State had 452 yards of total offense in the game, while Cook finished 15 for 31 passing for 256 yards. The Broncos only managed 58 yards on the ground and had 383 yards of total offense.

Sophomore Asantay Brown had a WMU team-high 10 tackles. Atkins had nine tackles to go along with his fumble recovery and Austin Lewis made nine tackles as well.

Berrien County

Cocaine, pistol discovered in search warrant on Phoenix Street in Niles

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Berrien County reports one new COVID-19 death

Berrien County

Berrien County launching survey to investigate broadband connectivity

Cass County

Cass County Fair announces 2021 book cover contest

Brandywine Education

SMC announces fall honor rolls

Berrien County

Honor Credit Union to award 23 high school seniors with $1,000 scholarship

Cass County

Lewis Cass ISD to become Heritage Southwest ISD

Cass County

Cass County Meals on Wheels workers save client from natural gas leak

News

Niles Township Board discusses e-bikes, public works equipment

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 540,115 cases, 13,865 deaths

Cassopolis

LEE celebrates MLK Day with virtual event

Cass County

Cass County Probate Court urges public to prepare for vaccination of incapacitated family members

Buchanan

Southwest Michigan wineries adapt to continued mandates

Brandywine Education

MEC accepting scholarship applications

Cass County

Bonine House to honor COVID-19 victims with light ceremony

Business

Organizers call Hunter Ice ‘non-festival’ a success

Berrien County

Short notice of MDHHS orders creates hurdle for southwest Michigan restaurants

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Cass County reports new COVID-19 deaths

Berrien County

LMC awards inaugural Spirit of MLK Spotlight honors

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Police Log: Jan. 13-17

Berrien County

Now is the Time” Martin Luther King Jr. celebration week begins at LMC

Dowagiac

SMC trustees give president positive first performance review

News

Niles Police Log: Jan. 7-13

Berrien County

Blossomtime extends pageant season