Michael Warren II’s second touchdown run came from 8 yards out with 1:29 to play as Cincinnati won a back-and-forth Military Bowl by defeating Virginia Tech 35-31 on Monday afternoon at rainy Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium at Annapolis, Md.
The Bearcats (11-2) covered 64 yards in five plays for the winning points and notched the third 11-win season in program history.
Virginia Tech (6-7) failed to register a 26th consecutive winning season.
There were six lead changes in the second half.
Warren, a running back, rushed for 166 yards on 20 carries. Cincinnati quarterback Hayden Moore completed 11 of 25 passes for 120 yards with one interception.
Virginia Tech quarterback Ryan Willis was 20-for-31 for 219 yards and two touchdowns and one interception. Running back Deshawn McClease gained 102 yards on 13 carries for the Hokies.
Willis threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Eric Kumah to open the scoring in the first quarter.
Backup Desmond Ridder’s 38-yard pass to freshman receiver Charles McClelland tied the game when McClelland broke free on a bubble screen to put the Bearcats on the board. It was his first career touchdown on his eighth catch of the season.
Cincinnati’s second touchdown came when Warren fumbled into the end zone and the ball was recovered by teammate Kahlil Lewis, giving the Bearcats a 14-7 lead early in the second quarter.
Warren burst 40 yards for a go-ahead touchdown in the third quarter. It was his 18th rushing touchdown of the season, setting a school single-season record.
Willis hit Chris Cunningham on a 2-yard scoring play to complete a 14-play drive late in the third quarter for the Hokies, giving them a 24-21 lead.
After Moore ran 19 yards for a touchdown to open the fourth-quarter scoring and hand the Bearcats the lead again, Willis countered with a 5-yard run as the Hokies went up 31-28 with 10:32 remaining.
The first-half scoring also included Steven Peoples’ 1-yard touchdown run for Virginia Tech to knot the score at 14-14. The Hokies had a chance to take a lead to halftime, but Brian Johnson missed wide on a 41-yard field-goal attempt.
Johnson opened the second-half scoring for a 17-14 lead with a 28-yard field goal.
Virginia Tech won the 2014 Military Bowl matchup between the two teams.
—Field Level Media