John Bowie kicked off the Bearcats’ first-half scoring barrage, registering his first career touchdown on a 25-yard interception return with 11:32 left in the first quarter. Just over six minutes later, Cincinnati extended its lead to 14 as International Bowl MVP Dominick Goodman scored the first of his two first-half touchdowns.
Goodman converted his first score with 6:27 left in the first quarter as he caught a laser from quarterback Nick Davila. The duo connected again in the second quarter as the freshman caught a 21-yard pass to give the Bearcats a 21-0 lead. Kicker Kevin Lovell made it 24-0 after a 37-yard field goal.
A 76-yard touchdown with 9:45 left in the second quarter sparked Western Michigan’s comeback. The Broncos added a 30-yard touchdown reception from wide receiver Herb Martin and a 29-yard field goal from kicker Nate Meyer to pull within seven of the Bearcats at the break.
After a scoreless third quarter, the Broncos tied the game at 24 with 10:53 remaining when running back Brandon West scored from seven yards out.
Cincinnati took the lead, 27-24. with 6:11 remaining after Lovell hit a 33-yard field goal. The Broncos had a chance to send the game into overtime, but Meyer’s 51-yard field goal attempt went wide-right with 1:21 left on the clock, sealing the win for Cincinnati.
Davila finished the day 19 of 35 passes for 214 yards and two interceptions. Cubit had 184 yards on 23 of 43 attempts. Goodman collected 109 yards on seven catches, while Simmons had 13 catches for 172 yards.
Defensively, Dominic Ross had 11 tackles to lead the Bearcats and Western Michigan’s Zach Davidson tallied 2.5 sacks.
With the win, Cincinnati climbs to 5-4 all-time in bowl games and finishes the 2006-07 season with an 8-5 record. The victory also marked the first win for head coach Brian Kelly who took over the program in December.
After winning five of their last seven games, the Broncos also finish the year at 8-5, but remain winless in three bowl appearances to date.
Source: Jackie O’Brien, International Bowl Staff