Western Michigan wins first bowl game

NASSAU, Bahamas — The Western Michigan football team captured the first bowl victory in school history, defeating Middle Tennessee State, 45-31, in the Popeye’s Bahamas Bowl at Thomas Robinson Stadium Dec. 24.

WMU finishes 2015 with an 8-5 overall record under third-year head coach P.J. Fleck. It is the second-straight eight-win season for Western Michigan, a feat that had also never been accomplished before in program history.

The game started and ended nothing short of an old-fashioned shootout. The two teams combined for 34 points and 475 yards in the first quarter alone and the score was tied 17-17 at the half.

Western Michigan pulled away in the fourth quarter, taking a 14-point lead after back-to-back touchdown runs by Mid-American Conference Freshman of the Year Jamauri Bogan.

Bogan was named Offensive MVP of the 2015 Popeye’s Bahamas Bowl and finished with four touchdowns and a career-high 215 yards, pushing him over the 1,000-yard mark for the season. He had three 40 yard-plus rushes in the game, one for a 62-yard touchdown on third and long on WMU’s first drive of the game.

Senior safety Rontavious Atkins came up with a critical interception that set up Bogan’s final touchdown and halted what could have been a game-tying drive by the Raiders. Atkins stepped in front of a pass with less than six minutes remaining and returned it 29 yards to the MTSU four-yard line. Bogan punched the ball in from a yard out to give WMU a two-touchdown lead.

Junior wide receiver Corey Davis was a constant threat down the field, totaling a season-high 183 yards on eight catches, one for an 80-yard touchdown. Davis spun away from his defender and turned a short pass into a career-long 80-yard touchdown to tie the score at the end of the first quarter 17-17.

The 80-yard connection was also a career long for junior quarterback Zach Terrell. Terrell finished with 297 yards in the air, completing 18-of-26 pass attempts. He threw for two touchdowns and  was intercepted once.

Junior Daniel Braverman caught a 68-yard touchdown pass from Terrell in the fourth quarter. Braverman registered five catches for 101 yards.

It was second time this season that the Broncos have had two 100-yard receivers (Davis and Braverman) and a 100-yard rusher in the same game (Bogan).

Senior linebacker Grant DePalma was named the Defensive MVP after registering a team-high 12 tackles, including one for a loss.
Middle Tennessee State scored on its opening kickoff on a 47-touchdown reception by Jordan Parker. Western Michigan trailed 14-7 and 14-7 in the first quarter before pulling even on Davis’ 80-yard touchdown reception.

After the two teams combined for 34 points in the first quarter, the defenses stepped up for a scoreless second quarter that saw just 147 total yards combined.

WMU took its first lead of the game at the start of the third quarter when Bogan ripped off a 46-yard touchdown run. Middle Tennessee countered with a 17-yard touchdown reception by Christian Collins.

The game was tied 24-24 entering the fourth quarter and WMU closed out the game outscoring the Raiders 21-7.
Western Michigan had 515 yards of total offense. Middle Tennessee totaled 368.

Edwardsburg

Monday Evening club adds plaque to celebratory marker

Cassopolis

MEC annexes back into the village limits

Edwardsburg

Edwardsburg residents open Mosquito Joe franchise

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Union Schools Board of Education votes to start year with distance learning

Education

Niles superintendent hosts outdoor, active meeting to discuss back to school concerns

Berrien County

Vikings assemble backpacks for students

Dowagiac

Dowagiac resident named 2021 Cass County Miss Agriculture USA Queen

Berrien County

Girls on the Run Southwest Michigan to host virtual short film festival Aug. 19

News

Niles nonprofit works to keep evictions out of courts

Berrien County

Berrien County Sheriff’s Office launches internal investigation into video incident

News

Whitmer signs executive directive recognizing, addressing racism as a public health crisis

Berrien County

Gov. Whitmer approves $28 million in outdoor recreation development and acquisition grants

Berrien County

Arrest, use of force streamed on Facebook Live involved Berrien County deputy

Business

Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce unveils upcoming Same Day Rewards Program

Dowagiac

Renovation work begins on Dowagiac’s China Garden

Berrien County

Berrien, Cass County unofficial election results

Berrien County

Motorcyclist seriously injured in collision with pickup truck

Berrien County

Berrien County services work to connect homeless to housing

Dowagiac

DUS seeks board member

Brandywine Education

Brandywine reviews reopening plan

Buchanan

Tin Shop Theatre to host outdoor production of ‘Into the Woods’

Dowagiac

Under The Harvest Moon Festival canceled due to COVID-19 pandemic

News

Niles Township appoints acting fire chief, introduces new fire code

Berrien County

Plastic surgeon to discuss cosmetic, reconstructive procedures