Falcons squeak past Flashes

Kent State junior defensive line Nate Terhune hangs his head after Bowling Green scored its second touchdown to make it 14-0 at Doyt Stadium on Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014. 

Taylor Rosen

Box Score

In a blink of an eye, the Kent State football team found themselves down two scores just nine minutes into Wednesday night’s game against the Bowling Green Falcons.

The Flashes did fight back to cut the lead to three in the fourth quarter, but turnovers killed their hopes of a come-from-behind win at Bowling Green as the Falcons pulled away in crunch time and won, 30-20.

“Of course we are not happy with the loss, but there are a lot of teachable moments for these guys,” Kent State coach Paul Haynes said.

Postgame Notes

  • According to the athletic department, senior tight end Casey Pierce broke Kent State’s record for catches in a season by a tight end with 54, passing Jason Gavadza. Pierce has made three or more catches in 11 straight games and has made two or more catches in 17 straight games. He finished with career-highs of 12 catches and 127 yards.

    In his last five games, Pierce has made 37 catches for 358 yards and five touchdowns. He caught his team-leading fifth touchdown of the season and fourth in his last four games.

  • Senior Chris Humphrey moved into fifth place in career receptions at Kent State with 119. He had career-highs of 132 yards and two touchdown catches, while his eight grabs overall were one short of a career-high. Humphrey upped his season total to four touchdown catches.

  • Redshirt freshman Nathan Strock and sophomore guard Tad France, became the 21st and 22nd different Kent State players (12 offense, 10 defense) to get their first career starts this season.

  • Sophomore Colin Reardon went 7-for-7 for 86 yards and a touchdown on Kent State’s 92 yard scoring drive, its longest drive of the season. Reardon also moved into sole possession of 7th place in career touchdown passes at Kent State with 24.

    He matched his career-high of three TD passes. It was the fourth time this season Reardon had two or more touchdown passes.

  • Junior Jordan Italiano made his third career interception and second of the season at the end of the first half. He made a career-high 16 tackles.

    Italiano had his third forced fumble of the year and has had a hand in five turnovers this season.

  • On its second-quarter scoring drive, Kent State improved to 9-of-13 on fourth down conversions this season on a run by Nick Holley.

Haynes decided to start freshman quarterback Nathan Strock after his performance last week against Toledo. Strock led the Flashes for the first four drives of the game, which resulted in 20 total yards of offense and four punts to start the game.

Sophomore quarterback Colin Reardon returned to his mantle as starting quarterback and replaced Strock in the second quarter and in two drives threw for 112 yards. He led the Flashes first score of the night on a 21-yard screen pass to senior wide receiver Chris Humphrey just before halftime. Reardon finished the night 24 of 37 for 284 yards, three touchdowns and four interceptions.  

“The attitude of these guys is awesome,” Haynes said. “Bowling Green is supposedly the best team in the league that we were going toe-to-toe with.”

The Flashes (1-9, 0-6 MAC) marched down the field on their first possession of the second half, but Reardon threw his first interception of the game, and the Falcons took over on their own 3-yard line.

On the very next play, junior safety Jordan Italiano forced a fumble, and the Flashes took over on the Falcons 4-yard line. Reardon brought the Flashes within six after finding Humphrey for his second touchdown of the night on a fade route in the back corner of the end zone.

Late in the third quarter, Kent State marched down the field again to potentially take its first lead of the night, but Reardon threw his second interception, resulting in the Falcons extended their lead to nine.

Reardon then led the Flashes on a six-play, 60-yard drive and hit senior tight end Casey Pierce in the back of the end zone for a touchdown, but junior kicker Anthony Melchiori missed the extra point, leaving the lead at three with nine minutes left in the game.

“We were just having fun out there being aggressive,” Pierce said. “Other than the interceptions, Reardon played great. He opened it up and played like he can play.”

The Falcons (7-3, 5-1 MAC) responded just a minute later with a couple of big plays and a score of their own on a 2-yard touchdown run by junior running back Anthony Givens. After two more Reardon interceptions, the game was on ice as the Falcons let the clock run out.  

Bowling Green finished the game with 522 total yards of offense and moved the chains on 12 of its 22 third-down plays.

The Flashes finished with 328 total yards of offense, but turned the ball over five times and were just 3 of 11 on third down.

Kent State will take a day off and then start preparing for its game next Wednesday night at the University of Buffalo.   

“You can’t beat a good football team when you turn the ball over, but those are still teachable moments,” Haynes said. “It’s just a guy trying to make a play, and we are getting in trouble by trying to do too much. But again, it is a teachable moment that we will learn from.”

Contact Taylor Rosen at [email protected].