Boston — Michael Walker walked into a postgame press conference wearing khaki shorts and loafers like he just came from a day at the beach.
He hardly looked like the speedy player who helped break a game open for Boston College.
Jon Hilliman had two short touchdown runs and caught a pass for another, Walker broke three punt returns that set up scores and Boston College beat Central Michigan, 28-8, on Saturday.
Walker had 124 yards on his first three punt returns, and finished with 135 total yards.
“Well, he’s certainly been a spark for us on special teams — without a doubt,” Boston College coach Steve Addazio said. “He’s done a great job on our kickoff returns. He’s continuing to do a great job on our punt returns.”
A.J. Dillon added a 15-yard touchdown run for the Eagles (2-3). Anthony Brown completed 14 of 21 passes for just 85 yards, but had a touchdown despite missing most of the week’s practices with a sore throwing shoulder.
Dillon ran 25 times for 120 yards, but was injured on a carry in the final minute and walked off slowly. Hilliman ran for 89 yards on 23 carries.
The win snaps a three-game losing streak for Boston College and was Central Michigan’s third straight loss.
“Coming off a week where we were pretty banged up, a lot of guys missed practice including the quarterback,” Addazio said. “I think the ability to come out here and play with some physicality on both sides of the ball, offensive and defensive lines, get a win, get that good feeling again, I’m pleased with that.”
After struggling on its first two possessions, Boston College got a spark when Walker returned a punt 61 yards to Central Michigan’s 6. On the next play, Hilliman busted through the middle for a score that made it 7-2.
“Any way I can to help the team out,” Walker said. “If we need that little spark, and I can provide it, that’s all we need to help get the momentum going.”
Midway into the opening quarter, Walker went 34 yards on a return, giving the Eagles the ball near midfield. BC then marched 53 yards in eight plays, with Dillon going up the middle for the final 15.
After Central Michigan sliced it to 14-8 early in the second on Kumehnnu Gwilly’s 1-yard touchdown run, Walker gave Boston College good field position again. The 6-foot junior broke free along the left sideline before being knocked out of bounds after a 27-yard return at Central Michigan’s 17.
“It’s tough, but we’ve still got to come out on top and stop them,” the Chippewas’ Amari Coleman said of Boston College’s short field after the returns.
The Eagles needed just three plays to score. Hilliman capped the drive with a 2-yard run to make it 21-8.
Brown hit Hilliman for a 3-yard scoring toss midway into the third quarter.
Graduate transfer quarterback Shane Morris completed 21 of 42 for 171 yards with three interceptions for Central Michigan (2-3).
(At) Western Michigan 55, Ball State 3: Obbie Jackson returned a fumble 21 yards for a touchdown on the opening kickoff and Western Michigan never looked back. Jackson ignited a 31-point first half that included a 12-yard scoring strike from Jon Wassink to Keishawn Watson, TD runs from LeVant Bellamy and Jarvion Franklin and a 43-yard field goal by Josh Grant.
Wassink finished with 240 yards on 14-of-20 passing with three TDs, including a pair to Watson, who had five catches for 93 yards.
Western Michigan (3-2, 1-0), the defending Mid-American Conference champs, have won four straight in the series. The Broncos scored four TDs on its first six possessions.
Jack Milas completed 22 of 40 passes for 170 yards and a pick, while Justin Hall snagged six passes for 121 yards for the Cardinals (2-3, 0-1).
Ball State avoided the shutout with a Morgan Hagee 28-yard field goal in the third quarter. The Cardinals’ Anthony Winbush was held without a sack after coming into the game with 7.5, tops in the nation.
(At) No. 15 Ferris State 59, Wayne State 17: Travis Russell threw for 199 yards, rushed for 56 more and scored three total touchdowns to lead the charge for Ferris State (3-1, 2-1), which scored the first 17 points of the game. Jahaan Brown, Robert Thomas, Derrick Portis and Jevon Shaw all added a rushing touchdown and Malik Taylor caught a 22-yard touchdown pass from Russell. Demetrius Stinson rushed for 135 yards and a score on 12 carries and D.J. Zezula threw an 89-yard touchdown pass to Corey Ester for Wayne State (2-3, 1-2).
(At) Tiffin 31, Northwood 28: Grant Dunatchik threw for 168 yards with a touchdown and interception on 14-for-24 passing and had a 1-yard rushing touchdown, TJ Schepperly threw a 32-yard touchdown pass to Alex Spicuzzi and Andre Carter scored on a 7-yard run for Northwood (2-3, 0-3), which rallied from a 17-point deficit to cut it to three in the final two minutes.
(At) Michigan Tech 28, Northern Michigan 21: A 6-yard pass from Jake Brown to Ben Hartley with 8:27 to play was the difference for Michigan Tech (3-2, 2-1). Brown completed 11 of 21 passes for 231 yards. Jake Mayon carried 31 times for 157 yards and a touchdown for Northern (1-3, 1-2).
(At) Grand Valley State 34, Saginaw Valley State 6: Bart Williams passed for two touchdowns for Grand Valley (4-1, 4-0). Ryan Conklin passed for 156 yards for Saginaw Valley (2-3, 0-3).
(At) Adrian 34, Albion 32: Emmanuel Stewart ran for 219 yards and two scores on 39 carries and David Nutter added 107 yards rushing and a touchdown to lead Adrian (2-2, 1-0), which scored 12 unanswered points late in the second half to take its first lead with 11:14 left in the game. Albion (1-3, 0-1) had a chance to tie it late after Kyle Thomas threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Collin Poore with 6:07 remaining, but Thomas' two-point conversion pass was no good.
(At) Alma 30, Kalamazoo 10: Dylan Zaborowski had 167 yards rushing and a touchdown on 26 carries, and Caleb Reinhart ran for 147 yards and three scores on 13 attempts for Alma (3-1), which finished with 473 yards of total offense. Alex White threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Giovanni and Greg Kearns made a 35-yard field goal for Kalamazoo (0-4).
Hope 42, (at) Olivet 20: Mason Opple threw for four touchdowns and 205 yards on 17-for-22 passing and Brandan Campbell rushed for 140 yards and two scores on 21 carries for Hope (3-1, 1-0), which led 35-0 at halftime. Opple threw touchdown passes to Chris Leigh (38 yards), Kurtis Slenk (14 yards), Christian Bos (13 yards) and Jake Kozlowski (five yards). Kornelius Saxton had 127 total yards of offense (104 receiving, 23 rushing) and two total touchdowns, including an 80-yard touchdown catch from Lane Porter, for Olivet (2-2, 0-1).