Flashes’ season ends with loss to Eastern Michigan


Kent quarterback Woody Barrett rushes the flashes matchup against Akron on Oct. 20, 2018. The Flashes lost, 24-23, in overtime.

Ian Kreider

Sean Lewis has had a motto since becoming the Kent State’s coach last December: No risk it, no biscuit.

With 4:44 left in the Kent State’s matchup against Eastern Michigan, Lewis and the Flashes were in the exact spot that they needed to show off that mantra.

Fourth and six.

Sophomore quarterback Woody Barrett tried to connect with junior running back Jo-El Shaw on a deep ball, but it was intercepted on Eagles’ 10-yard line by defensive back Vince Calhoun, who returned it to near midfield. A scuffle ensued between Barrett and the Eastern Michigan sideline, with both teams being accessed unsportsmanlike penalties. But a unnecessary roughness penalty on Kent State set the Eagles up on the Flashes’ 44-yard line with 4:28 left.

That was the last time the Flashes would have the ball this season.

Eastern Michigan drove into field goal range, with Chad Ryland knocking in a 47-yard field-goal. However, the field goal was waved off due to an unnecessary roughness penalty by senior nose tackle Khalil Morris, and the Eagles kneed the ball to end the game, winning 28-20.

“We told the kids going into it, the way we have all season, we were going to call it to win it,” Lewis said. “I just wish that we could have executed a little bit better. I wish I had a few of those calls back so that we could have gotten into some different situations. On the big picture of the whole year those situations have been advantageous for us.”

The Flashes (2-10, 1-7 Mid-American Conference) jumped out to a 10-0 lead early in the first after a red zone field goal followed by 16-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown by junior Jamal Parker. Consistency is something that Lewis has harped on all season, and his team still struggled with it Friday.

The Flashes gave up 21 unanswered points in the first half en route to a 21-10 halftime deficit.

“It’s just a byproduct of the lessons we need to learn as we continue to go forward,” Lewis said. “We have a lot of great lessons we’ll be able to learn from this year.”

The Flashes battled back in the second half, thanks in part to a defense that  held quarterback Tyler Wiegers and the Eastern Michigan (7-5, 5-3 MAC) offense to 2-for-15 on third downs. Wiegers, who came into the game with the 16th highest completion percentage in the FBS, finished 13-for-26 for 139 yards and an interception.  

Offensive mistakes limited the Flashes. It finished with three turnovers, including a fumble on an exchange between Barrett and junior running back Justin Rankin, a muffed punt by senior Zaquon Tyson and an interception on its final play from scrimmage on a throw by Price.

Lewis’ first season may have resulted in a 2-10 finish, but there was marked improvement from past seasons. Barrett completed a program record 229 passes, junior wideout Mike Carrigan and sophomore Antwan Dixon each finished with over 500 yards receiving — something a Kent State receiver hadn’t done since 2013 — and the Flashes also will return running backs in Jo-El Shaw and Justin Rankin who have proven to be a formidable duo on theground.

“Quitting and stopping is not a part of the equation,” Lewis said. “If you want to be great you don’t have choices you have the illusion of choices.”

Ian Kreider is the sports editor. Contact him at [email protected].