J.D. Brookhart outcoached another victim.
Alphonso Owen lateralled a free kick return to Andre Jones that turned a certain 38-33 Western Michigan win into a 39-38 three-fingered shocker for Akron.
Thanks to a key block from Andre Walker, Jones completed a 89-yard return to end the game in the Zips' favor.
"I'm just so happy for the team," Brookhart said. "All I could think of was the Cal-Stanford game." (The band is on the field! The band is on the field!)
With 20 seconds remaining and a seven-point lead, the Broncos decided to run through their own end zone, taking a safety and free kick, rather than punting back to the Zips' offense, which had a boatload of momentum.
Brookhart dusted off another trick play that somehow got Jones wide open for a lateral and a free path to paydirt.
Frank Stams, the Zips announcer with an extensive football pedigree, said it was the best finish he has ever seen to a football game. He and Steve French turned the announcer's booth into a living room, shouting like madmen once Jones busted free. Who can blame them? Bill Morgan coined it the "Miracle in Kalamazoo." I will second that, conditioned upon a quick check that the nickname does not currently exist.
I was personally writing the Zips' obituary when the play occurred. In my notes, I wrote that WMU was stupid for taking the safety and introducing the possibility of losing in regulation.
Of course, the game never would have been close without career games from Chris Jacquemain and Jabari Arthur. Bryan Williams also picked up large chunks of yards in important situations.
Unfortunately, the game does not count for the division title. But almost undoubtedly, there will be a tie atop the MAC East standings at the end of the season, and a team's record in crossover games serves as the tiebreaker to see who goes to Detroit.