AKRON, Ohio — The Akron Zips won their first game in nearly 800 days, breaking a 21-game losing streak with a big win over the Bowling Green Falcons Saturday, 31-3.
Akron took the lead in the first quarter with a 36-yard field goal from Cory Smigel. The Falcons answered back with a 23-yard field goal of their own from Nate Needham, tying things up 3-3 heading into the second quarter.
The Zips took over in the second quarter with two touchdowns, the first a pass by quarterback Zach Gibson to receiver George Qualls and the second a blocked punt recovered by Gavin Blunt and returned for a touchdown.
Up 17-3, the Zips went into the half with a comfortable lead that they would continue to grow in the second half.
After intercepting a pass from Bowling Green’s LaBronz Davis, the Zips capitalized and made their way down the field and into the end zone on a hand-off to Teon Dollard, putting Akron up 24-3. Dollard scored again in the fourth quarter with a 50-yard touchdown run, putting the Zips up and sealing the game 31-3.
The Zips were on a 21-game losing streak that extended back to Nov. 1, 2018. Akron lost their final five games of the 2018 season and were 0-12 during the 2019 season. This year, the Zips had lost their first four games against Western Michigan, Ohio University, Kent State and Miami University.
If fans were allowed in the stands, they’d likely have rushed the field but with COVID-19, that kind of celebration will have to wait. Still, the team can enjoy their first win in a very long time, and head coach Tom Arth’s first victory with the Zips.