Ball State Cardinals Win 51-28 in Season Opener Blowout
Coach Pete Lembo: "We are very proud of our kids"
Free Press Report
MUNCIE, IN - The Ball State Cardinals defeated Illinois State, 51-28, Thursday night at Scheumann Stadium in their season opener.
It was a record crowd of 16,327 that filled the stands at the stadium on campus to cheer the team to victory.
“We are very proud of our kids,” third-year head coach Pete Lembo says. “We beat a really good team tonight. Everybody kept their composure and nobody panicked. We had a great drive right before the half. There was no panic at halftime. We just went about our business and knew we were capable of playing better in the second half.”
After trailing 21-9 late in the second quarter, the Cardinals scored 42 unanswered points before Illinois State added a late touchdown. Ball State’s total of 51 points marked the second time in its last four games the Cardinals have topped the 50-point mark.
“We have not had many wins by that margin in our first two years here,” Lembo says.
“It is a good way to start. I think we beat a good team tonight. We have plenty to improve upon, but we came out of it relatively healthy. We certainly have plenty to fix, but this is where we are and it is not all bad. We are very realistic with where we are right now. We have to be humble and keep earning everything we get.”
Senior quarterback Keith Wenning accounted for five touchdowns in the game with three TD passes and two scoring runs. Wenning ended the contest with 340 yards, surpassing the 300-yard mark for the seventh time in his career.
And receiver Willie Sneed was player of the game with two back to back touchdowns from Wenning passes to get the game rolling in the third quarter.
Ball State will host Army Sat., Sept. 7, in its second game of the season before traveling to North Texas Sept. 14, for its first road contest of the year.
Photos by Stephanie Tarrant. Read more at Ball State Sports.
"Score!" Was heard a lot during the second half of the BSU football season opener.