DALLAS (AP) — Freshman Cory Munson kicked a career-long 52-yard field goal with no time left after a rules review to give Western Kentucky a 23-20 victory over Western Michigan in the First Responder Bowl on Monday.
The Hilltoppers (9-4) drove 36 yards in 27 seconds before Munson kicked his third field goal in four tries. The clock had expired and Munson was given the final play after a five-yard defensive substitution penalty against the Broncos for having 12 players on the field. Munson had tied the score at 20 on a 31-yarder with 1:36 to play. He also kicked a 26-yarder and missed from 29.
Thiago Kapps’ 20-yard field goal with 4:58 to play gave Western Michigan (7-6) a 20-17 lead.
Kapps’ field goal, his second of the game, capped a 62-yard drive that took 5:35 after Western Kentucky had tied the score on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Ty Storey to Lucky Jackson with 10:40 to go. Jackson had 17 catches for 148 yards.
Western Michigan’s other touchdowns came on a 6-yard pass from Jon Wassink to DaShon Bussell midway through the third quarter and an 88-yard interception return by Kareem Ali in the first half’s closing minutes.
Storey threw a 17-yard pass to Jahcour Pearson in the second quarter for the Hilltoppers’ other touchdown on SMU's campus.
Western Kentucky: The Hilltoppers will lose only two defensive starters from a unit that went into the bowl season ranked 21st in FBS scoring defense. With Storey leaving, Steven Duncan figures to return to No. 1 after starting this season’s first three games as a junior before injuring his left foot and missing the rest of the year.
Western Michigan: The Broncos will lose five starters each on offense and defense, including their three-year starter at quarterback (Wassink) and the Mid-American Conference players of the year on offense (RB LeVante Bellamy) and defense (LB Treshaun Hayward).
Western Kentucky: The Hilltoppers, who will open at home against Chattanooga on Sept. 5, will again play two Power Five programs (Louisville again and Indiana) next season.
Western Michigan: The Broncos will return to Notre Dame, where they most recently played in 2010. Western Michigan will also welcome Syracuse to Kalamazoo next season.
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