A long-awaited win

Thomas Gallick

Flashes break skid with home victory over Delaware State


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The Kent State football team ended the longest losing streak in Division 1-A football with a win against Delaware State, but neither the coaches nor players were completely satisfied with the win.

The Flashes (1-2) lost nine consecutive games, including two to open this season, before winning 24-3 against the Hornets Saturday at Dix Stadium.

“We’re just glad to get a win,” Kent State football coach Doug Martin said. “It’s been a long time, and we’ve gone through a lot on this losing streak. It’s good to get that monkey off our back.”

Martin challenged the team to improve on special teams and its turnover ratio last week in practice, but the team still struggled occasionally in both areas. The Flashes turned the ball over three times with two interceptions and a fumble.

Martin said the turnovers are still a major concern that needs to be fixed before the Mid-American Conference season starts.

“We didn’t play as sharp as what we would like to, especially on offense,” Martin said. “We’ve still got the turnover plague. Until we get that fixed, we’re not going to play up to our capability.”

Martin said he felt the offense had the ability to score 30 points every game if it had not turned the ball over.

Senior quarterback Julian Edelman led the team in both major offensive categories with 73 yards rushing and 113 yards passing.

Edelman said he wasn’t thrilled with the offense’s effort, mainly because of turnovers, including his two interceptions.

“We still turned the ball over three times, but like coach said, it’s a win,” Edelman said. “I’d rather have an ugly win than a pretty loss.”

Sophomore wide receiver Leneric Muldrow had one of the offensive highlights on the day for the Flashes with a 31-yard touchdown run off of a fake field goal.

Martin said after watching game tape, the team knew that Delaware State lined up against field goal units in a way that could be exploited.

“If they were lined up differently we would have checked it at the line and gone on and kicked the field goal,” Martin said. “There really wasn’t a whole lot of risk there.”

Junior running back Eugene Jarvis came out of the game after rushing for 17 yards with a minor ankle injury in the first quarter and did not return.

Martin said Jarvis’ injury was not a serious one, and the running back should be good to play against Louisiana-Lafayette this weekend.

“Eugene just twisted his ankle a little bit early and he could have gone back in the game, but there was no reasown for us to put him in the game,” Martin said. “He should be fine.”

Sophomore running back Andre Flowers received the majority of the carries after Jarvis left and finished with 54 yards and a touchdown, while freshman Jacquise “Speedy” Terry ran for 36 yards on seven carries.

The Kent State defense gave up 346 total yards to the Hornets, but it came through in clutch situations, allowing Delaware State to convert on only four of 16 third-down conversions. The Flashes also sacked Delaware State’s quarterbacks four times in the game.

“Coming into the game I really felt that we had an opportunity to move the ball, and if we could score some points (we would) have a chance to win,” Delaware State football coach Al Lavan said.

Lavan said the game would have needed to be “the perfect storm” for Delaware State to win.

The Hornets did not score until the fourth quarter, when senior kicker Riley Flickinger made a 23-yard field goal.

Senior linebacker Derek Burrell said the defense played well, but the players wanted to keep the Hornets from scoring.

“We (were) shooting for that shutout, but they got the field goal,” Burrell said. ” At the same time, I think we played better this week. We’ve still got to iron some things out, but collectively I think we did a lot better.”

Burrell failed to lead the team in total tackles for the first time this season in the game, as sophomore linebacker Cobrani Mixon finished with 11 total tackles in just his third game as a Flash. Burrell said Mixon improves the whole defense with his athletic play.

“He had a real good game today,” Burrell said.” He makes things a lot easier. He’s athletic, (and) he’s a real good player.”

The Flashes finish up the non-conference schedule Saturday with a road game against the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns.

Game Notes:

• The great ‘Gazu’: Junior quarterback Anthony Magazu won the backup battle this week in practice over sophomore Giorgio Morgan. He went 3-of-5 for 65 yards, including a game-long 37-yard pass to senior wide receiver Shawn Bayes. Martin said Morgan may redshirt this season, but will make the final decision in the coming weeks.

• Special teams swap: The Flashes, who had two punts blocked last week at Iowa State, turned things around with a block of their own against Delaware State. Senior defensive back Rico Murray blocked and recovered a field goal against Delaware State at the end of the first half.

• Punt and return roundup: After last week’s set of meltdowns on special teams, the Flashes responded with an effort unmarred by mistakes. Freshman punter Matt Rinehart averaged 40 yards per punt (with no punts being blocked), while the longest return was 13 yards (with no returns fumbled).

• Fourth and three to go: Junior running back Eugene Jarvis’ 17 yards in the game were good enough to move him into fourth place among Kent State running backs’ all-time yards. Jarvis sits at 2,674 yards, between Larry Poole (2,668) and Joshua Cribbs (3,670).

Contact sports reporter Thomas Gallick at [email protected].