Mitchell leads Flashes to first win of the year

Henry Palattella

Redshirt freshman Mylik Mitchell threw for 104 yards and a touchdown and ran for 77 yards to help lead the Kent State football team (1-2) to a 27-7 win over Monmouth University (2-1).

“Good to get in the win column for the first time,” head coach Paul Haynes said after the game. “It feels good in the locker room singing that fight song. (I’m) proud of our guys for bouncing back after a tough loss.”

The Flashes piled up 343 total yards against the Hawks, 235 of which came on the ground.

Kent State spread the wealth, as nine players notched a carry for the Flashes.

Mitchell led the way with 77 yards, while freshman Justin Rankin and Kavious Price added 59 and 33 yards, respectively.

Redshirt freshman George Bollas relived Mitchell at certain points during the game, but most of the damage he did was on the ground, as he rushed for 18 yards. He also completed one pass for two yards.

“I think (Mitchell) did some good things,” Haynes said after the game. “I think every rep he takes, every game he’ll continue to get better. Again, the more that we can be 50-50 in throwing and running and getting him correct on his reads and make it simple for him, I think he can make plays.”

Mitchell made sure everyone got involved in the air: six players different players caught a pass, and Nick Holley led the way with seven catches and 65 yards and two touchdowns.

“I always tell people that football is my therapy,” Holley said after the game. “So it’s just nice to be out on the field playing again. The touchdowns were just extra. It’s good to get a win.”

The Flashes defense made their presence known throughout the contest, forcing the Hawks to 2-of-15 on third down conversions, while also holding them to 199 total yards.

Junior Nate Holley again was a cog for the Flashes defense, as he racked up 17 tackles. But he wasn’t the only Flash to do something of note on defense; Justin Waugh had two sacks and four tackles for loss, while Elcee Refuge added an interception.

“We’re a lot hungrier as a football team, we feed off each other’s play,” Refuge said of the defenses play. “Anytime you’re on the field there’s a play to be made.”

Kent State struck first when Shane Hynes knocked in a 22-yard field goal late in the 1st quarter. The Flashes got into field goal position thanks to Kavious Price, who gained 33 yards on two straight runs.

The Flashes extended their lead early in the second quarter when Myles Washington scored his first touchdown on a seven-yard run to push the Kent lead to 10-0. Hynes would add another field goal before halftime to make it 13-0.

The Flashes found pay dirt on their first drive of the second half when Mitchell found Nick Holley from six yards out to make it 20-0 Kent. Mitchell accounted for 46 total yards on that drive, making plays with both his arm and his legs.

The Monmouth defense stepped on the Flashes next drive, as Mike Basile burst through the line and blocked a Shane Hynes field goal attempt. The Hawks blocked three kicks last week against Delaware State.

The Hawks scored their only touchdown when Zach Welch ran it in with 5:53 left to decrease the Kent lead to 20-7. The Flashes added their last touchdown when Mitchell threw a dime 28 yards down the field to Holley who fell into the end zone for the score.

Cody Williams (7-of-15, 59 yards) started the game at quarterback for the Hawks but was relieved by Kenji Bahar (12-of-20, 73 Yards, one interception.) Williams came in leading the Big South in passing yards with 325. Zach Welch led the Hawks with 51 yards and a touchdown on the ground.

Kent State will travel to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, to take on the Univeristy of Alabama. The Crimson Tide are currently the number one ranked team in the country and are coached by Kent State alum, Nick Saban.

Next Saturday’s game is a noon kickoff.

Contact Henry Palattella ast [email protected].