This story originally appeared in the Monday, Oct. 22 issue of the Ball State Daily News.
Last season the Ball State faithful tore down the goal posts a game after snapping a 21-game lossing streak.+â-è This year, they did so after bringing a halt to a winning streak -- Toledo's winning streak.
Saturday, the Cardinals, 1-4 beat the Rockets, 5-0 in a Homecoming thriller. One of the most important players, the crowd did not make any tackles, score any points, or even join the huddle but instead sowed support.
Every screaming fan had a hand in the win.
"It was going to take a whole university to get the job done," defensive tackle Mark Zackery said. "The fans did their part, administration did their part and we did our part."
Playing in front of a homecoming crowd of 21,278, the Cardinals handed the 23rd ranked Rockets their first defeat of the season. One of the heroes of the game was Corey Parchman, who returned a kickoff 100 yards for the game-winning touchdown.
"I've never heard it so loud. Once you lose your vision, your hearing gets better," Parchman who lost both of his contacts at the beginning of his return said.
The impact of the fans was not lost on any member of the team. Even head coach Bill Lynch noticed.+â-è
"(The fans) really meant something to us," Lynch said. "They were loud and in to it and stayed through it. Our guys really appreciate that."
Danny Laycock has been attending Ball State football games for almost fifty years. Laycock, who grew up in Muncie, traveled from North Carolina to see his Cardinals play the Toledo Rockets.
"It was on of the best games I have seen anywhere," said the 1957 Ball State grad.
Perhaps the only thing more exciting for the fans than the game itself was the celebration. As time expired, fans charged the field and brought down both of the year-old goalposts. The posts were then carried down Bethel Avenue before being laid to rest in the Duck Pond.
"Look at all these people!" freshman Matt Tyler yelled over the screaming fans, "This had to pump the players up."
"We were loud all day because we knew we were going to win all day," freshman Joey Clayton said.
Others were less confident, though. "I was scared the whole game," Pat Morrison, a Ball State alum said.