Fast forward to the last three minutes – Toledo scored a touchdown to increase his lead to 38-28, capping a practice that featured a fourth and 11 conversion of the West Michigan 15-yard line that was assisted by a curious place by the official (and a first folded marker).The Broncos then took over with no downtime and quickly entered an 11-game, 70-yard touchdown that fell 2:09 behind. Kicker Thiago Kapps missed the extra points attempt to keep the score 38–34.Kapps immediately atoned for his mistake with a perfect kick that the Broncos recovered to give their offense one last chance.
Western Michigan took over on its own 49-yard line with 44 seconds left. The Broncos hit the Toledo 9-yard line in three games when quarterback Kaleb Eleby found D’Wayne Eskridge for an 18-yard gain. Eskridge was tackled in bounds, and the West Michigan offense rushed to the line of scrimmage to ostensibly toss the ball and stop the clock. Then it happened:
Somewhere Dan Marino is smiling. The Toledo high school ignored Broncos wide receiver Jaylen Hall, who waited alone in the end zone for what must have looked like forever for Eleby’s pass to arrive.
The ripple effect of this game will almost certainly be minimal. There are no college football playoff implications to consider, and the bowling eligibility requirements have been legitimately lifted this year. The game ended around midnight EST, so there likely weren’t many people tuned in to witness Her Majesty in real time.
But in the midst of a season that has both seemed dead in the water – and battles weekly pandemic game cancellations – West Michigan’s failure to give in to disheartening odds is downright ambitious (or, at best at least, the best Wednesday night sports movie ending on live TV).
For once and forever, long live the #MACtion.