Bowling Green took a 24-14 lead with 1:15 left before halftime when Akron fumbled inside its 5-yard line on a punt return and McDonald found Christian Sims one play later.
Bowling Green went on a seven-play, 88-yard drive to take a 31-21 lead after McDonald's 18-yard connection to Odieu Hiliare in the corner of the end zone. Akron answered with at 41-yard pass from DJ Irons to Alex Adams to cap the scoring with eight minutes left.
Seven different Bowling Green rushers combined for 36 carries and 175 yards, led by Jamal Johnson's 13 carries and 70 yards. Hiliare caught four passes for 95 yards and a score for Bowling Green (2-3, 1-0).
Irons also threw for three touchdowns for Akton (1-4, 0-1). He passed for 224 yards and rushed for 105 more. Adams made four catches for 96 yards, including two scores.
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