Lawrence, Kan. — Shane Morris threw for 467 yards and five touchdowns on an efficient 28 of 37 attempts while leading Central Michigan to a 45-27 victory over Kansas on Saturday.
In their first road game of the season, the Chippewas rolled into Memorial Stadium and took control late in the second quarter after a quiet start to the game for both teams.
A Kansas field goal made the score 10-6 in Central Michigan’s favor with just under five minutes left until halftime, as the two teams seemed to be fairly evenly-matched.
Less than two minutes later, however, Chippewa tight end Logan Hessbrook took a Morris pass 40 yards to the end zone. Then, with just six seconds remaining, receiver Corey Willis snagged a six-yard score as well. Suddenly, it was 24-6.
The Jayhawks responded with a quick 14 points out of the break, cutting the lead to just four, but the Chippewas drove down on the following possession and extended it back to 11 with Devon Spalding’s touchdown run from the 1. From there, they wouldn’t look back.
Offense was the key for Central Michigan, racking up 590 total yards. Most of their work came through the air, but five Chippewas combined for 123 yards on the ground as well.
“Our offensive production was outstanding,” coach John Bonamego said. “I think (offensive coordinator Chris Ostrowsky) called a good game. Shane Morris executed the offense. Our receivers ran, got open, and caught balls, and we were able to grind some yards in the running game as well.”
Mark Chapman led the game with 168 yards on eight receptions, and reeled in three touchdowns as well. He delivered the knockout blow, turning a short Morris pass into a 75-yard dash to the end zone after the Jayhawks had started to trim the deficit in the fourth.
“I think that’s the best play in football,” said Morris, who transferred to CMU from Michigan. “I just got to throw a little bubble out there, and he does the rest. He made a great play. I thought he was going to get tackled on the sideline honestly, but just shot it and he went. I mean, that’s an unbelievable play.”
Kansas quarterback Peyton Bender had a poor start to the game, but played decently once he got things together. He finished with 323 yards on 32 of 62 passing, but failed to find the end zone and threw two picks.
Jayhawks true freshman running back Dom Williams accounted for two touchdowns on the ground, and led the game in rushing with 64 yards. Receiver Ryan Schadler also ran it in for a score on a 33-yard reverse.