Kent State Football Celebrates Homecoming With Blowout Win To Begin MAC Play
Written by Dante Centofanti on September 22, 2019
Photo credit: oanow.com
Kent State football has had a question mark over its head so far in the 2019 season, narrowly escaping with a win week two over Kennesaw State, who at the time was ranked seventh in the FCS, and showing good signs on special teams and offense in losses against power five schools Arizona State and Auburn.
Yesterday, in their conference opener at Dix Stadium in front of a vibrant homecoming crowd, they had one of their more convincing wins in recent memory as they defeated in-state opponent Bowling Green 62-20 in their conference opener. The flashes got on the board in a hurry thanks to an early trick play with wide receiver Kavious Price throwing a touchdown pass to Keenan Orr to give the Flashes an early lead, and they never looked back.
The Flashes dominated for the majority of the first half on both sides of the ball. The defense only allowed Bowling Green to convert three third downs out of 12 attempts. The only score they would give up in the first half was a touchdown pass from Andrew Clair to make it 14-7 with 4:03 left in the quarter.
Starting quarterback Dustin Crum threw for 310 yards and three touchdowns. Running back Jo-El Shaw lead the Flashes in rushing with 115 yards, and Mike Carrigan led the team in receiving with 94 yards, including a 53 yard touchdown reception. Crum talked about how the team is a collective unit, and they are always trying to feed off each other.
“All we’re trying to do is take our shots,” Crum said. “We felt our receivers could thread the vertical, and it’s huge feeding off each other.”
The motto for this program is titled “Be the Alpha”, and with so many players stepping up today, coach Lewis was asked which moment today signifies that motto. He talked about how all of them are collectively great, and how the team is a family with true family standards.
“62 points, we felt confident coming in to take this win on homecoming was very fun,” Lewis said. “It all starts up front and our efficiency on first and second down was great along with being able to generate tempo. It’s all interconnected, and it’s really cool to see all of it coming together.”
“It means that you’re constantly improving. Today as a whole there’s no one moment you can point to. That whole mantra is about us improving as people first and foremost, and being great ambassadors for this university first and foremost. I truly believe that you don’t rise to the moment; you fall through your level of training. Whether it’s the exam in the psych class, or the test today against Bowling Green, that’s what being an alpha is about; improving.”
A major moment of momentum in the game was Jamal Parker’s first interception of the day. An interception at the Kent State 24 would give the Flashes the ball back and prevent Bowling Green from making it a one score game. The Flashes would go on to put up 27 unanswered points in this game until a 16 yard touchdown run by Grant LOY in the fourth quarter. When asked about his dominant offense after the game, Lewis replied with a joking answer.
“Now I don’t have to answer questions about balance anymore.”
Parker alluded to how the defense was simply being in the right spots after the game.
“The first one was playing through the whistle, running to the ball and getting rewarded,” Parker said. “I give credit to the defensive line on the second one; we play hand and hand.”
The team is currently averaging a team GPA above a 3.0. The Flashes will go into a bye week at 2-2 (1-0) before they head to Madison to play AP ranked Wisconsin and Heisman candidate Jonathan Taylor. Bowling Green falls to 1-3 (0-1) and will also be on a bye week before they head to South Bend to play Notre Dame.