High-octane offense, improved depth highlight Flashes’ scrimmage

Several Kent State players warming up before the start of the fall scrimmage before that start of the season on Aug. 19 2019. 

Ian Kreider

Coach Sean Lewis did not publicly declare a winner after Kent State’s open scrimmage Monday.

“I have to check the tape before I truly know that,” Lewis said with a smile. “But the offense seemed to find the endzone quite a few times this evening.”

The offense started each drive either at the 25-yard line or where the previous drive had ended.

The offense was stalled only a few times during the hour and a half scrimmage that featured four quarterbacks behind center. Junior quarterback Woody Barrett played two drives, leading to one touchdown and one three-and-out after a holding penalty negated a deep completion.

Second string quarterback junior Dustin Crum led successful drives as well, including a 42-yard touchdown pass to freshman receiver Lon’kevious McFadden deep down the left sideline.

The Flashes concluded the final 45 minutes with play from their remaining units. Freshman quarterbacks Marquez Glover and Collin Schlee each led scoring drives, while showing off their ability to escape pressure, buy extra time and scramble for first downs.

“The work they [Glover and Schlee] put in off the field is really showing,” Barrett said. “Watching them develop is a humbling experience. I’ve come a long way and to be where I’m at and be able to coach these guys is a really humbling experience.”

The depth at running back also contributed to the success of the uptempo offense. Senior running back Jo-El Shaw saw limited snaps like Barrett, but freshmen Bryan Bradford and Craig Elmore were key contributors on several scoring drives.

“Each running back brings their own style,” Barrett said. “We’ll be able to bring in fresh legs more often.”

Lewis pulled the starters after about 20 snaps. 

“We’re gonna work smart and give some of the young guys room to develop,” Lewis said. 

Some upperclassmen did not play at all, including senior linebacker Nick Faulkner and senior cornerback Jamal Parker. 

“We know what they are,” Lewis said. “It’s kind of the same way that Baker Mayfield didn’t play the other night for the Browns. Coach Kitchens knows what he’s got in Baker Mayfield. I know what I got in Jamal Parker. I know what I got in Nick Faulkner.” 

Kent State begins its season August 29 at 10 p.m. against Arizona State inside Sun Devil football stadium. 

“I’m really pleased with the effort they put forth in these 18 practices,” Lewis said. “It was a hard, physical camp, but we came through it healthy. It gives us a chance now going into the season. It doesn’t guarantee us anything, but it gives us a chance.”

Ian Kreider is a sports reporter. Contact him at [email protected]