Late blocked punt returned for TD sends Eastern Michigan past Central Connecticut State

Mathew Sexton blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown in the final seconds to send Eastern Michigan past Central Connecticut State on Saturday. (Keith Gillett/Getty Images)

Eastern Michigan appeared to be down and out on Saturday afternoon.

The Eagles, fresh off their win against Illinois last week, were trailing down 29-28 to Central Connecticut State, an FCS program, with less than 30 seconds left in the game at Rynearson Stadium on Saturday. It looked like EMU was in store for a disappointing loss.

Then, though, came wide receiver Mathew Sexton to the rescue.

After EMU forced a fourth down, CCSU went to punt it away with just 18 seconds left in the game. Sexton, who was lined up on the outside edge, burst into the backfield completely untouched with a perfect line to Central Connecticut State’s punter.

With nobody there to stop him, Sexton blocked the punt. He then scooped the ball up with ease and ran it 30 yards into the end zone, sending Eastern Michigan to an improbable 34-29 win.

The Eagles, who fell into an early 15-7 hole, rallied in the second half to grab a 28-15 lead. Yet back-to-back touchdowns from the Blue Devils, including a 68-yard grab by Tyshaun James, put CCSU back in front with just two minutes left.

Central Connecticut State even came up with an interception with just 1:15 left in the game, too, which appeared to seal the deal and would have marked their fourth-straight win this year.

Thankfully for the Eagles, Sexton — who had just two receptions for 16 yards before that final play — saved the day.

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