October 5, 2008

Timing is everything

Despite racking up over 400 yards of offense, the Kent State Golden Flashes were not able to put the Akron Zips away in the battle for the Wagon Wheel by not making plays when it counted and lost 30-27 in double overtime.

Kent State made plenty of big plays in the game, but it was the timing of Akron's big plays that made the difference.

Plays Please
Up 21-17 to start the fourth quarter, the Flashes had the ball in the red zone with a chance to go up by 11. The offense failed to reach the end zone and kicker Nate Reed missed a 27-yard-field goal, giving Akron a chance to hang around.

"Like all the other games, we just didn't make the plays when we needed to. We made more plays than Akron, it's just they made them when they needed to." Flashes quarterback Julian Edelman said. "That's what sums up this game. Our coaches put us in a great position, like always this does not go on the coaches, this goes on the players, bar none, the players."

Man Possessed
Edelman looked a player bound and determined to win. He gave Akron trouble all day by passing for 157 yards and two touchdowns in addition to the 113 yards he had running.

On Kent State's last possession with the game on the line, he was able to scramble for a 34-yard run, setting up Reed's 32-yard field goal as time expired that sent the game into overtime.

"Truthfully, we shouldn't have even been in that play. I had two bad balls right before it, but the play came down to that and I had some blocks and some guys blocking downfield and it just happened," Edelman said.

Martin's take
For the second straight season, Kent State head coach Doug Martin saw his team outperform the Zips in nearly every statistical category, yet the Golden Flashes came up on the wrong side of the scoreboard again.

"I'm really proud of our football team, we battled, played hard, just made some mistakes, down the line. It cost us the game with the fumble and the punt return and a couple missed field goals, but obviously, statistically we dominated this football game," he said.

Over the Hump.
Freshman running back Jacquise Terry and classmate tight end Justin Thompson scored the first touchdowns of their collegiate careers.

"Terry's been playing quite a bit for us and he is going to be a really great back. He's special, he brings a lot to the table." Martin said. "Justin's going to be a really good player too, he's a lot like Jameson Konz. He's a guy you can do a lot of different things with. We got a lot of good young players out there that are really contributing right now."

Terry has gotten more playing time of late because of an injury to Eugene Jarvis. On the season Terry now has 30 carries for 157 yards, good for 5.2 yards per carry.

Thompson's first touchdown was also his first reception of the season.

Stepping up his game
Brian Lainhart's three interceptions off Akron quarterback Chris Jacquemain marked the first time a Kent State player intercepted three passes in a game since 1988.

On Lainhart's first interception, he jumped in front of the receiver to pick the ball out of the air.

"He forced the throw-I kind of knew where it was going to be and I just jumped it," Lainhart said.

Glad to have you
Freshman wide receiver Kendrick Pressley contributed heavily to an inconsistent receiving corps by catching eight balls for 57 yards.

"The kid stepped up, [we] gave him the ball, he made plays…the kid's going to be real good for this team." Edelman said.

See us, Hear us
Akron students made their presence felt in the rivalry by forming a very noticeable student section in the North end of Dix Stadium.

Akron coach J.D. Brookhart said he picked that end zone in the second overtime because of the student section. The Flashes' Reed missed a 23-yard field goal that would have forced a third overtime kicking into the Akron crowd.

Martin said he didn't believe it made Reed miss his final kick.

"We were on the 6-yard line, we missed a field goal from the 6-yard line." Martin said.

There's no place like home
Saturday's contest against Akron marked the Flashes second home game of the year, a season that is already six games old.

Festive atmosphere
About 18,500 fans packed into Dix Stadium to watch the rivalry, with several tailgaters partying outside the stadium prior to kick off.

Wagon Wheel
Kent's lead in the Battle of the Wagon Wheel is now only one game (19-18-1 since 1946).


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