Wednesday night’s Mid-American Conference match-up between Kent State and the University at Buffalo has been postponed due to inclement weather in the Buffalo, New York area, according to a MAC press release.
The game was originally scheduled to kick off at 8 p.m., and as of a few hours ago, was “still on,” said Aaron Chimenti, Kent State Athletic Communications assistant director.
According to the MAC, officials will meet and have a conference call Thursday morning to discuss playing the game either Thursday or at an alternative date.
A MAC rule mandates a minimum of six days rest between games, so should Kent State and Buffalo make up their game Thursday, next Tuesday’s game against Akron will be pushed back to Wednesday, placing the tail end of Kent State’s schedule in further delay.
Fortunately, Kent State prepared for the worst.
Trying to plan ahead and stay ready for extreme weather conditions that awaited them in Buffalo, Kent State officials wanted the team to leave Kent for Buffalo earlier than they typically do Tuesday morning.
The team found out around 7 or 8 a.m. that multiple highways in New York were shut down due to the weather, which delayed plans, Chimenti said.
Coaches and staff contemplated the best course of action to take and eventually decided to leave around 11 a.m. Tuesday morning. Players performed walkthroughs and watched film before their departure, something they normally do once they reach the hotel.
“We knew last week that a storm was coming, and I think that’s something (the team) talked about, that this was going to be a long trip. And they’ve been through a lot of adversity through other various reasons throughout the season, so I think they handled it well,” Chimenti told TV2 News. “Once they got up this morning, they were ready to get in their regular routine and play football tonight (Wednesday night).”
The football team made it to Buffalo in spite of the impending bad weather, but the journey wasn’t easy.
It took the team three times longer to get to Buffalo than it normally would, as they were forced to take a different route to avoid heavy snow areas.
Lake effect snow off Lake Erie dropped more than 5 feet of snow in and around Buffalo, stranding motorists, forcing cancellations and leaving seven dead, according to the Associated Press.
Due to all the snow, up to 132 miles of the New York State Thruway was closed, forcing
Kent State’s buses to seek alternative routes of travel.
“We take I-90 through Ashtabula County on into Pennsylvania just north of Erie just before the New York state line, and we then went east on Route 86,” Chimenti said. “And if you look at 86 on a map, it kind of goes around that huge snow band was (Tuesday), and so we went up north to Rochester and then back down kind of southwest of Buffalo from Rochester, so what that was was probably another 150 miles than what we would normally take to Buffalo.”
The length of the trip wasn’t the end of the Flashes’ problems. Around 4:30 p.m., one of the buses got a flat tire in New York, so the team was forced to condense the travel situation from three buses to two.
Once all the players hauled their gear and equipment onto the second bus and hit the road again, Kent State finally made it to Buffalo by 9:15 p.m. and slept in the team hotel.
A standard three-hour trip turned into a gueling 10-hour trip, and now the team’s effort to make the trip might be for naught if the two teams choose to make up the game at a later date.
Check back on KentWired with all the latest updates concerning when this game will be rescheduled.
Contact Richie Mulhall at [email protected]