Hurt, but still hungry

Taylor Rosen

In the midst of adversity, a banged up Flashes football team aims to knock off winless UMass for first win.

On Tuesday afternoon, Kent State starting quarterback Colin Reardon stood off to the sidelines in his yellow practice jersey, with no crutches or walking boot, observing his teammates’ practice.

Reardon injured his ankle late in the fourth quarter of last Saturday’s 17-14 loss at Northern Illinois when his foot got caught in the turf while sliding.

He underwent X-rays on his ankle Monday morning and the results came back negative, and he will remain inactive and unable to play this week, Sports Information Director Aaron Chimenti said.

Redshirt freshman quarterback Nathan Strock came in to replace Reardon and suffered a concussion on the very next play. He will also be out this week against the University of Massachusetts.

 “Both of them are doubtful, but we’ll take it one day at a time, assess the quarterback position each day in practice, and see how they progress,” Kent State coach Paul Haynes said. “We rushed the ball much better last week and didn’t turn the ball over. Those are the things we have to build on going into UMass this week.”

Massachusetts is winless on the season (0-6), and is coming off a tough loss to Miami last weekend. The Minutemen watched a 20-point second-half lead vanish and fell to the Redhawks, 42-41, last Saturday at Miami.

“On the defensive side, a lot of their points are coming off of big plays,” Haynes said of UMass. “They have had many big plays this year on that side of the ball so we have to make sure we keep the ball inside and in front. The plan hasn’t changed at all. We have to run the football, and we can’t give up big plays or turn the ball over.”

The Flashes (0-5) must rely more heavily on the run game this week than they have in previous weeks, as Haynes must make the tough decision of who gets the start at the quarterback position this week. At practice this week, the coaching staff has been weighing the options at quarterback, exploring a few different players in the position.

Sophomore quarterback Jack Williams was called upon after the two injuries last week at Northern Illinois, and sophomore quarterback George Bollas, who runs the scout team, is the team’s other option at the position this week.

“The relationship between quarterback and center is a pretty key relationship, but we have a lot of good guys under us,” sophomore center Alex Nielsen said. “I feel pretty comfortable with guys like Bollas and Williams. I’m not too worried because I’ll get the relationship going with them this week. Obviously it’s not like Colin, but I still think we’ll be all right.”

Williams hasn’t had many reps this season as his brief appearance in last week’s game against the Huskies was the first game action he’s seen in his career.

The Flashes must protect whoever is under center this week if they want to have a chance at winning.

 “I’m really excited,” said senior wide receiver Chris Humphrey. “I have an idea of who will be under center if Colin is not able to go, and I am very confident heading into this game.”

The Flashes will return to its hometown fans at Dix stadium after a month of playing on the road this Saturday. The game will kickoff at 2 p.m.

Contact Taylor Rosen at [email protected].