Hazell, Flashes prepare for Friday’s nationally televised game


Junior wide receiver Tyshon Goode prepared for the ball to be snapped in the Flashes’ 48-7 loss at Alabama on Sept. 3. Photo by Drew Hoover.

AJ Atkinson

Cortez, Batton garner player of the week honors

After their impressive performances in Saturday’s win over Bowling Green, junior kicker Freddy Cortez and junior linebacker Luke Batton were named Mid-American Conference East Players of the Week this week.

Batton received the MAC East Defensive Player of the Week award as he played a key role at shutting out Bowling Green from scoring on any of their four trips inside Kent State’s red zone. Batton finished the game second in tackles with 10, had 1.5 tackles for loss, a pass breakup and one quarterback hurry.

Batton currently leads the team with 71 tackles on the year and is the fourth Kent State defender throughout the team’s eight games to receive this award.

For the fourth time in his three years at Kent State, Cortez was honored the MAC East Special Teams Player of the Week award. Cortez went 2-of-2 in field goals, which include a 44-yarder in the first quarter he hit to put the Flashes ahead first.

Cortez converted on all three point after attempts and on kickoffs had one touchback and two other tackles inside Bowling Green’s 20.

After his first Mid-American Conference win as head coach, Darrell Hazell was chipper as he answered questions from the media in his weekly Monday press conference.

Hazell said he was impressed with his team after the game, but even more impressed after watching the tape. One of the players he was most proud of was his junior quarterback Spencer Keith, who battled freshman Cedric McCloud the week before for that start.

“He executed very well,” Hazell said. “He had a couple bad throws, one where he threw it too high and up for grabs, but other than that he played well.”

Hazell said the season high nine explosive gains, which are runs over 12 yards and passes over 14 yards, made a huge difference on Kent State’s offense.

“It really shortens the field,” Hazell said. “It allows you to not be perfect on our play calls.”

One contributor to the explosive gains was junior wide receiver Tyshon Goode. After putting up impressive statistics in his first two years at Kent State under Coach Doug Martin, Hazell said he has not seen the amount of hard work he needs to see in Goode and has not played the wide receiver as much because of that.

However, Hazell gave Goode a shot against Bowling Green, where Goode tied the team with most receptions at four and finished first in yards with 43. Hazell said he was impressed with how Goode played but that he still needs to work a little harder.

“(Goode) needs to learn how to play harder without the football,” Hazell said. “He works hard to get himself open, but he needs to play harder in the run game. He can still play better.”

The win over Bowling Green did not come with many sacrifices when it comes to injuries. The only player affected with a new injury was junior defensive end Jake Dooley, who has a sore hamstring and is questionable for Friday’s game against Central Michigan.

Junior wide receiver Eric Adeyemi is also questionable. The 6-foot, 182 pound wide out is still recovering from a foot injury.

Hazell said senior defensive back Norman Wolfe Jr. wants to return this week to play Central Michigan on ESPN2, but Hazell said his timeline for return is most likely another week when the Flashes play at Akron.


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Rumors went around after the Bowling Green game that Roosevelt Nix was sick and throwing up at halftime. Hazell confirmed the report and said it made Nix’s performance even more impressive.

“Rosie played in the backfield all day even though he was sick,” Hazell said. “Even if he only had one tackle, he changed the running backs’ direction.”

The Flashes’ offense showed more of what they can do. Hazell said this win is what they needed and will just continue getting better.

The Flashes will appear on ESPN2 this Friday as they host Central Michigan for an 8 p.m. kickoff.

Contact AJ Atkinson at [email protected] and @aj_atkinson.