W. Michigan 21, Ball St. 13
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) _ Tim Lester threw for 303 yards, including 74 yards on a touchdown late in the fourth quarter that sealed Western Michigan’s 21-13 victory over Ball State on Saturday.
Lester completed 19-of-30 passes without throwing an interception for Western (3-3 overall, 2-2 Mid-American West), which entered the game leading the conference in passing efficiency.
He completed passes to seven receivers including four each to Jake Moreland and Darnell Jennings for 44 and 33 yards, respectively.
Robert Sanford led the Broncos ground game with 111 yards on 27 carries, including a 2-yard run that opened the scoring in the first quarter. He also caught three passes for 28 yards.
Ball State (1-5, 0-3 MAC West) tied the game at 7-7 at 12:45 of the second quarter on a 9-yard pass from Jake Josetti to Adrian Reese. Lester then found Darnell Jennings on a 9-yard TD pass to put Western up 14-7 at halftime.
After a scoreless third quarter, Reese, who finished with six catches for 61 yards, caught a 17-yarder from Josetti to pull the Cardinals within 14-13. Josetti’s 2-point conversion pass attempt fell incomplete.
With 2:48 left to play, Lester then hit Steve Neal on a 74-yard scoring pass. It was Neal’s only catch of the game.
Western, which entered the game third in the conference in total defense, allowing just 340 yards per game, held Ball State to 271 yards of total offense.
Josetti was held to 159 yards on 12-of-22 passing with one interception, while Kevin Cartwright led Cardinals’ ground game with 50 yards on nine carries.