November 24, 2007

Flashes fall in OT

When Nate Reed's first quarter extra point bounced off the left upright, Kent State should have known things weren't going to turn out well in Saturday's Senior Day affair against Buffalo at Dix Stadium. The Golden Flashes led for most of the game, but when it mattered most the Bulls made the big plays in a 30-23 overtime victory.
"The thing I keep telling this team, the difference is one or two plays," said Kent State head coach Doug Martin. "We're just not making them. That's what we're missing is making crucial plays."

The Flashes (3-9, 1-7 in the Mid-American Conference) had a couple of opportunities to win the game in regulation. First, it was Reed's extra point that would have extended Kent State's lead to 14-3. Then, the defense allowed Buffalo to drive 73 yards in 10 plays to tie the score with just 4:40 remaining in the game. But, the play of the game came when Reed attempted a 29-yard field goal with just 1:34 left.

The kick was low and Buffalo senior defensive lineman Labinot Hakanjin blocked the kick to send the game into overtime.

"Our defense made a great stop," Hakanjin said. "I knew if it was coming down to a field goal, we'd block it. I got through there all game; I just didn't get to the ball. On that field goal, I got to the ball. It was a great feeling."

Buffalo jumped out to an early 3-0 lead when Naaman Roosevelt returned the opening kickoff 83 yards to the Kent State 3-yard line. The Golden Flashes' defense rose to the challenge and forced Buffalo to settle for a field goal.

"I've been watching our defense all season to have a goal line stand like that," Martin said. "I've been waiting four years for that."

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