Wednesday night shootout

Douglas Gulasy

Flashes light up scoreboard in win over Temple Owls

Kent State senior quarterback Julian Edelman flies through the air for a touchdown in the first half against Temple. Rachel Kilroy | Daily Kent Stater

Credit: DKS Editors

READ the live blog from the game.

Apparently the Kent State football team decided to save its best offensive performance for a rainy night.

The Flashes (3-7, 2-4 Mid-American Conference) piled up a season-high 561 yards of total offense in a back-and-forth 41-38 victory over Temple in front of 6,886 people last night at rainy Dix Stadium.

“I couldn’t be more proud of our football team,” Kent State coach Doug Martin said. “That was exactly what we needed. It was a great team win.”

A 26-yard field goal by junior kicker Nate Reed with 6:12 left in the game provided the winning margin for the Flashes, who led by as many as 18 points.

Sophomore defensive tackle Quinton Rainey iced the victory by recovering a Temple fumbled lateral with seven seconds left. All told, the Flashes forced four turnovers (three fumbles and one interception).

Senior quarterback Julian Edelman led the way offensively for the Flashes by passing for 232 yards, a touchdown and an interception and rushing for 144 yards and three scores on 22 carries.

“Everyone went out there and did their job (last night),” Edelman said. “(The) offensive line played well, (and the) receivers made good catches. We had a good game plan.”

In his fourth game back after missing the previous three because of a high ankle sprain, junior running back Eugene Jarvis had his best game yet. He rushed for a season-high 185 yards rushing and a touchdown on 34 carries and added 36 yards on four receptions.

“I’m not 100 percent yet, but there’s three games left (so) you’ve got to leave it all on the field,” Jarvis said.

For Temple, senior quarterback Adam DiMichele was 16-of-27 for 278 yards and three touchdowns.

Temple junior wide receiver Jason Harper had 10 receptions for 209 yards, becoming the first Kent State opposing wide receiver since Randy Moss to have more than 200 yards receiving in a game, and had two touchdowns.

The Flashes controlled most of the first half, keeping Temple’s defense off balance by getting to the line of scrimmage quickly in the no-huddle offense. Kent State got off to a 21-3 lead on two 1-yard runs by Edelman and a 5-yard run by Jarvis.

“We thought if we stayed in the no-huddle we might work on (Temple’s) conditioning a little bit and tire them out,” Martin said. ” … I don’t know if that had an effect or not, but we thought it did.”

After Edelman scored his second touchdown to give the Flashes a 21-3 lead with 13:02 left before halftime, the Owls (3-7, 2-4) scored 14 straight points to close the half and go into halftime down 21-17.

When Temple’s Travis Shelton returned the opening kickoff of the second half 92 yards for a touchdown, it gave the Owls their first lead of the game.

The teams traded scores throughout the third quarter; Edelman’s 7-yard pass to redshirt freshman wide receiver Sam Kirkland gave the Flashes a 35-31 lead with 6:16 left in the third quarter.

Reed’s 21-yard field goal gave the Flashes a 38-31 lead with 12:35 remaining in the game. The Owls tied it on a 51-yard pass from DiMichele to Harper with 10:23 left, setting the stage for Reed’s final field goal.

Martin said he was proud of the resolve his players showed, even when Temple kept coming back.

“I thought our guys did a great job of just attacking,” Martin said. “They’re growing up, maybe, a little bit and understanding how to win, I hope. We’ll see.”

Temple entered the game with the third-best scoring defense in the MAC, allowing an average of 19.8 points per game. The Flashes’ 41 points was the second-most scored against the Owls all season.

The Flashes will have just six days to prepare for their next game. They will host Northern Illinois at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Dix Stadium.

Contact assistant sports editor Douglas Gulasy at [email protected].