George Bollas gets first start, 15-10 victory over UMASS

Stephen Means

Kent State (3-4, 2-1 Mid-American Conference) snapped an eight-game road losing streak by beating University of Massachusetts (1-5, 0-2 MAC), 15-10.

“Our defense did a really good job and a lot of guys played and contributed,” said head coach Paul Haynes. “I’m proud of the team effort. The defense did a very good job, but when your offense plays like it did and doesn’t turn the ball over, you always have a chance to win.”

The Flashes changed things up at the quarterback position by benching redshirt junior Colin Reardon for redshirt freshmen George Bollas. In his first career start Bollas threw 135 yards and one touchdown while completing all but five passes. Bollas added 79 rushing yards in 15 carries.

The Flashes were the only team to score in the second half after going into halftime tied at 10. Kent State forced its second safety of the season along with a 39-yard field goal from redshirt freshman Shane Hynes.

“When you go into a game like this against a team like this, when you are not putting a bunch of points on the board offensively, it scares you,” Haynes said. “It scares you because you don’t know if you can outscore them.”

Junior Charles Chandler scored the Flashes only touchdown of the day on a one-yard reception from Bollas. The touchdown was a first for both players.

Junior Nate Holley led the Flashes in tackles for the third time in four games with 11 total tackles.

For the third time this season, the defense contributed points on the scoreboard. In the second half, senior quarterback Blake Frohnapfel, was forced to step out of the back of the end zone for a safety by juniors Elcee Refuge and Terrence Waugh while trying to throw it away.

Frohnapfel, who came into the game ranked second in the MAC in passing, was 17-for-33 for 171 yards through the air, and the Minutemen offense was limited to just 51 total yards in the second half. Junior Nick Cuthbert gave Frohnapfel his fifth interception of the year as well.

“We were playing bend but don’t break early,” Cuthbert said. “Once we got into the groove, we thought we could play pretty well. Our goal is to hold offenses just one point less than our offense scores.”

Senior tight end Rodney Mills led the Minutemen with 96 yards on four receptions. Senior Jovan Santos-Knox had a game-high 17 tackles to lead UMass defensively.

The win also surpasses the Flashes win total for all of last season and put them in second place in the MAC East standings and have won their last three games against MAC East opponents.

The Flashes return home next Saturday to take on Bowling Green for sole first place. Kick-off at Dix Stadium is at 1pm.

Stephen Means is a sports reporter for The Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].