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Sheets' 46-yard TD run lifts Purdue by Central Michigan

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Kory Sheets broke loose for a 46-yard touchdown run with a minute left in the game to lift Purdue to a 32-25 victory over Central Michigan on Saturday.

Central Michigan (2-2) appeared set to pull off an upset after taking a 25-24 lead with 1:18 to go on a 6-yard touchdown pass by Dan LeFevour followed by a 2-point conversion pass to Antonio Brown.

But the Boilermakers (2-1) got a 39-yard kickoff return from Desmond Tardy and the Chippewas were hit with a 15-yard facemask penalty. On first down, Sheets took a handoff from Curtis Painter, made a cut that faked out several defenders and raced into the end zone. Painter followed with a 2-point conversion pass to Greg Orton.

Purdue's Dwight Mclean intercepted a pass by LeFevour with 27.7 seconds left to clinch the win for Purdue against a pesky Mid-American Conference opponent.

After LeFevour's 6-yard TD pass to Ontario Sneed brought Central Michigan within a point at 24-23, Chippewas coach Butch Jones opted to go for two points. The 2-point pass completion to Brown was reviewed before officials ruled it a catch, rather than a trap.

Sheets' game-winning TD gave him the school record for career touchdowns. His total of 43 surpassed Mike Alstott, who scored 42 from 1992-1995. Sheets finished with 91 yards on 17 carries.

The win also gave Purdue coach Joe Tiller the school record for career wins. His 85 victories tops the previous mark of 84 set by Jack Mollenkopf from 1956-1969.

It was the third meeting between the teams in 13 months. Purdue won 45-22 last September, then won again 51-48 in the Motor City Bowl.

Painter, who threw for a school record 546 yards in the Motor City Bowl win, passed for 261 yards and a touchdown Saturday. LeFevour passed for 291 yards and two touchdowns and ran 24 times for 112 yards and another score.

With the score tied at 10 in the third quarter, Purdue's Mike Neal hit LeFevour as he threw and forced the ball to pop into the air. Frank Duong intercepted the wobbly pass and raced 58 yards for a touchdown to give the Boilermakers a 17-10 lead.

LeFevour scored on a 12-yard run early in the fourth quarter to tie the score at 17.

Painter came up big on Purdue's next possession. On a third-and-10, he found Aaron Valentin on a slant pattern, and he broke away for a 57-yard gain. Painter found Tardy for a 2-yard touchdown with 7:34 left, and the Boilermakers took a 24-17 lead.

Purdue could have put the game away, but on a third-and-1 at the Purdue 49, Painter fumbled the snap, recovered and tried to drive for the first down. Central Michigan's LaVarus Williams stripped Painter, and Sean Murnane recovered to give the Chippewas another chance. That led to Sneed's touchdown.

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