Flashes lose another quarterback, game at NIU

Joe Harrington

Kent State freshman quarterback Giorgio Morgan started the game, but backup quarterback Jon Brown had to finished it, as the Flashes lost their fifth game in row, 27- 20 to Northern Illinois Saturday at Huskie Stadium in DeKalb, Ill.

In the second quarter, Morgan was sacked by multiple Northern Illinois defenders and was carried off the field by two offensive linemen. Kent State coach Doug Martin said Morgan suffered a knee injury and is likely out for the remainder of the season.

“It’s a shame that his freshman year is going to be wasted for a game and a half,” Martin said. “But it’s also going to be very meaningful for him going into the spring and next year.”

Before the injury, Morgan had scored on his first rushing touchdown of his career, which gave the Flashes a 7-0 lead.

Jon Brown led the offense down the field on his first drive, completing three passes for 23 yards. The last throw was a one-yard touchdown pass to freshman Alan Vanderink, both players first of the season. The catch made the score 21-14.

Martin said Brown played well in his back-up roll.

“He’s done a great job preparing himself week after week to be ready,” Martin said. “I’ve got a lot of confidence in him.”

The Flashes couldn’t carry the momentum into the second half as they struggled to score touchdowns. Instead, the Flashes settled for two field goals by sophomore Nate Reed. He connected on 25- and 40-yard field goals.

The Flashes still had a chance to tie the Huskies in the final minutes of the game. With less than two minutes to play, the Flashes had the ball on the 24-yard line looking to score. But the Huskies secured a win after Brown threw his only interception of the game.

“We had a good game plan and think we executed it fairly well,” Brown said. “We just made a couple mistakes.”

Eugene Jarvis, however, continued to change the Kent State record-books. The sophomore moved to eighth on the Kent State all-time rushing list with his 2,227 career rushing yards and he broke the single season rushing record held by Eric Wilkerson, who ran for 1,325 yards in 1989. Jarvis ran for 174 yards on 20 carries and now has 1,433 rushing yards on the season.

But Jarvis may have been overshadowed by the Huskies’ dual-running game of sophomores David Bryant and Justin Anderson. Anderson had more than 100 yards in the first half and finished with 107 yards and a touchdown. Bryant had a team-high 123 yards, must of which came in the second half.

Northern Illinois quarterback Dan Nicholson threw for 275 yards and two touchdowns, as the Flashes allowed 510 yards of offense. It is the second game they have allowed more than 500 yards.

“When you give up 500 yards in game there is definitely a problem,” senior defensive lineman Colin Ferrell said.

In the first half, the defense looked like the unit from earlier in the season. Senior defensive back Jack Williams recovered a fumbled caused by junior Cedrick Maxwell, then on the next drive, picked off the first pass of the game and returned it 47-yards.

But that would be it for Williams who left the game with a shoulder injury. Williams’ status is unclear for the rest of the season.

“Jack’s our best defensive back,” Martin said. “When you lose him for a whole game it puts a lot of stress on you.”