MUNCIE, Ind. — Freshman Kadin Semonza threw two touchdown passes, Marquez Cooper ran for 177 yards and a score and Ball State pulled away in the fourth quarter to beat FCS-member Indiana State 45-7 on Saturday.
Semonza completed 17 of 22 passes for 137 yards for the Cardinals (1-2). Cooper did his damage on 22 carries. Rico Barfield scored with his only catch, adding 48 yards on five rushes.
Semonza passed to Barfield for a 16-yard touchdown early in the second quarter and Jackson Courville kicked a 23-yard field goal with 94 seconds left to give Ball State a 10-0 lead at halftime.
Barfield stretched the Cardinals' lead to 17-0 midway through the third quarter with a 24-yard touchdown run. Dakota Caton hauled in a 49-yard scoring strike from freshman Elijah Owens two plays later to get the Sycamores (0-3) on the scoreboard.
Ball State wrapped it up with three touchdowns over a span of 3:52 in the final quarter. Cooper started things with an 11-yard scoring run with 13:12 left to play. Semonza had an 8-yard touchdown toss to Tanner Koziol two plays after a Sycamore turnover. The third score came when Loren Strickland sacked Owens, forcing a fumble that Keionte Newson recovered in the end zone.
Charlie Spegal capped the scoring on a 1-yard run with 3:03 remaining.
Owens completed 9 of 21 passes for 157 yards with one interception.