Football falls to Akron in double overtime

DKS Sports staff

The Kent State football team lost to Akron 30-27 in double overtime Saturday afternoon at Dix Stadium.

Junior kicker Nate Reed missed a 23-yard field goal that could have sent the game to a third overtime. The missed kick, his second of the game, sailed wide right.

“I’m really proud of our football team,” Kent State football coach Doug Martin said. “We battled and played hard and just made some mistakes down the line that cost us the game.”

The Flashes (1-5, 0-1 Mid-American Conference) led 21-10 at halftime, and it looked like they might come out with a 21-17 victory when the defense stopped Akron with under four minutes left in the game.

However, junior wide receiver Phil Garner muffed a punt, allowing Akron to recover in Kent State territory. The Zips scored on a 24-yard pass from Chris Jacquemain to Deryn Bowser with 1:28 on the clock. The play was originally called incomplete, but the play was overturned after video review.

The Flashes drove 48 yards on eight plays to tie it. The drive was highlighted by senior quarterback Julian Edelman’s 34-yard run on fourth down and was capped by a 32-yard Reed field goal that just cleared the crossbar after being deflected.

“It’s a shame,” Edelman said. “We go out there and as well as we played (we) get that (loss).”

The teams traded field goals in the first overtime, and Akron kicked a 25-yard field goal in the second overtime before Reed’s miss.

For the Flashes, Edelman was 17-of-31 for 157 yards and two touchdowns. He also led the team in rushing with 113 yards on 18 carries.

Sophomore safety Brian Lainhart intercepted three passes in the first half. The last time a Kent State player intercepted three passes in the same game was in 1988, when Andy Logan did it against Bowling Green.

In the first half, Akron opened the scoring with a 29-yard touchdown pass from Chris Jacquemain to Andre Jones with 13:09 left in the first quarter. Kent State answered with a 1-yard pass from Edelman to freshman tight end Justin Thompson with 3:53 left in the quarter.

After a 33-yard field goal gave Akron a 10-7 lead with six seconds left in the first quarter, the Flashes scored 14 unanswered points. Edelman hit senior wide receiver Shawn Bayes with a 14-yard touchdown pass with 10:55 left in the second quarter, and freshman running back Speedy Terry added a 1-yard touchdown run with 3:06 remaining.

Akron running back Dennis Kennedy cut the Flashes’ lead to 21-17 with a 1-yard touchdown run with 8:45 left in the third quarter.

Martin said he was proud of the effort the team made, even with the costly mistakes on special teams.

“There was absolutely nothing left in our players at the end of that game,” Martin said. “That’s all that I can ask out of those guys.”

The Flashes will look to snap their three-game losing streak when they play Ohio at 2:30 p.m. next Saturday at Dix Stadium.