Football falls in four overtimes to North Carolina A&T


Alyssa Keown/The Kent Stater Kent State running back Justin Rankin carries the ball on September 10, 2016. Kent State lost to North Carolina A&T 39-36.

Henry Palattella

Kent State’s (0-2) offensive inconsistencies were on full display against North Carolina A&T (2-0), as the Flashes blew numerous opportunities en route to a 39-36 loss.

Kent State’s best opportunity to win came in the third overtime period, when redshirt freshman Mylik Mitchell found sophomore Johnny Woods in the end zone from 15 yards out, tying at 33. 

The Flashes subsequently failed the two-point conversion, which sent the game into a fourth overtime. 

Kent State got the ball first and added a field goal, but A&T won it when redshirt senior Oluwafemi Bamiro hit senior Denzel Keyes in the right corner of the end zone for the walk-off win.

“We had a chance to make plays and we didn’t,” said head coach Paul Haynes after the game. “Bad fundamentals on a lot of it, but we’ve got to regroup.”

Mitchell played well, going 17-of-32 for 182 yards, three touchdowns, and an interception. Those touchdown passes were the first ones of his career, and two of them went to fifth-year senior Brice Fackler. The first hookup came late in the second quarter when Mitchell hit a Fackler from 27 yards out.

“I had one guy on me and I just beat him,” Fackler said in regards to his first score. “Mylik gave me a great throw.”

The second score was less traditional, as Fackler caught a ball that was dropped by two Aggie defenders in the end zone.

“I was Johnny on the spot,” Fackler said. “I was going to tackle the guy, really. I thought he had picked it already.”

Senior Tarik Cohen was a catalyst for the Aggie offense all night, as he picked up 133-yard and a touchdown on the ground and he also added 125 receiving yards. 

Cohen had three other partners in crime with him in the backfield, as the Aggies utilized three quarterbacks during the game: Redshirt sophomore Lamar Raynard started but was replaced by sophomore Kylil Carter after throwing two interceptions. 

Carter left late in the game due to injury, which opened the door for senior Oluwafemi Bamiro. Bamiro — who threw for two touchdowns and ran for another — is in his first season as a collegiate. He was a tight end for the Aggies last year.

Kent State’s ball-hawking defense was on full display Saturday, albeit in a losing effort. 

Fifth-year senior Najee Murray had both an interception and recovery, while sophomore Jauntez McRae had the other interception and senior Elcee Refuge had the other fumble recovery. 

Refuge scored on a fumble recovery last week against Penn State. Senior Terence Waugh helped the Flashes’ cause with two sacks.

The Flashes will look to get their first win of the year when they welcome Monmouth to Dix Stadium on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

Henry Palattella is a sports reporter, contact him at [email protected]