Flashes fall to huskies in blizzard-like conditions

Thomas Gallick

Senior quarterback Julian Edelman paces the sidelines during the fourth quarter of Tuesday night’s game. Daniel Doherty | Daily Kent Stater

Credit: DKS Editors

The Northern Illinois Huskies’ football team looked as comfortable in the wintry weather as its namesake last night, while Kent State looked as if it was hoping for a snow day.

The Flashes (3-8, 2-5 Mid-American Conference) slipped, slid and fumbled all over the field in a 42-14 loss to Northern Illinois at snow-covered Dix Stadium.

Kent State football coach Doug Martin said Northern Illinois played well in the harsh weather, which helped the Huskies secure the win.

“They just beat us,” Martin said. “They handled the weather conditions much better than we did. They deserved to win.”

Senior quarterback Julian Edelman said the team could not blame the snow for the tough loss.

“(The weather was no excuse),” Edelman said. “Both teams had to play in it. We just turned the rock over, and unfortunately I go out on my career (with) a loss at my home stadium.”

A sparse crowd gathered last night to say goodbye to the team’s seniors, including Edelman. Edelman rushed for 108 yards, threw for 126 and fumbled three times – losing two — including one on a punt return. His third-quarter fumble after being sacked was returned by Northern Illinois’ Craig Rusch for a 60-yard touchdown.

Edelman said the team’s seniors were not happy to leave Dix Stadium for the last time with a loss.

“It was pretty emotional for the seniors,” Edelman said. “Of course it’s terrible going out with a loss.”The Flashes had a hard time holding onto the ball all night with four total fumbles, losing three. The Huskies were perfect in the turnover category, never losing the ball during the game.

“They out-executed us and took care of the football better than we did,” Martin said. “Defensively we didn’t play well enough to win the football game, and offensively we just didn’t make enough plays. Hats off to Northern Illinois because they did.”

The Huskies also accomplished a rare feat by sacking the usually elusive Edelman four times.

Northern Illinois scored the first 14 points of the game, holding the Flashes scoreless until the second quarter. Sophomore wide receiver Leneric Muldrow fooled the Huskies on a 5-yard run on a fake field goal, his second touchdown on a fake this season.

Junior running back Eugene Jarvis ran ineffectively in the snow, but he did draw the Flashes within 14 points with a rushing touchdown in the third quarter. Jarvis finished the game with just 15 rushing yards on 13 carries.

Freshman quarterback Chandler Harnish became the latest MAC quarterback to tear the Flashes’ run defense to shreds. Harnish led the Huskies with 117 rushing yards, including two touchdowns.

Harnish also went 12-of-19 passing, even in the snowy weather, with 173 yards and two touchdown passes.

With the loss, the Flashes blew their final chance to win consecutive games on the season. They will close out their season next Friday at Buffalo.

“We’ve got next week,” Edelman said. “(If) we go out on a win that would reconcile this.”

Contact sports reporter Thomas Gallick at [email protected].