Flashes bounce back, beat Delaware State

Jonas Fortune

Edelman uses arm instead of legs in romp

Kent State’s Fritz Jacques, top left, and Colin Ferrell tackle Delaware State’s running back Chris Strother during Saturday’s game at Dix Stadium. The Flashes beat the Hornets 38-7 during Kent’s home opener.

Credit: Gavin Jackson

A week after giving up 56 points to arguably the best offense in the Southeastern Conference, the Kent State football team looked to rebound against Delaware State.

And after holding the Hornets to just 190 yards of total offense in a 38-7 victory Saturday at Dix Stadium, it is safe to say it did.

“We talked all week about not losing two games in a row. And that’s a big thing for Kent State,” coach Doug Martin said. “That’s a character issue, it’s not an X’s and O’s issue.”

The X’s and 0’s were another story as the passing game continued to sputter throughout the first half Saturday night. During the first two games of the season, junior quarterback Julian Edelman has used his legs to dominate opponents. That was noticeably absent against the Hornets.

“I told Julian Edelman that if he ran the ball I was going to put a knot on his head a boy scout couldn’t untie. He was not allowed to run today,” Martin said. “I wanted him to develop as a quarterback, and I wanted him to begin to keep his eyes downfield and throw the football and see if we would have some receivers step up and make some plays.”

The new concept left Edelman out of rhythm and uncomfortable for most of the first half — until his receivers started making plays.

With just one minute 37 seconds left until half time junior wide receiver Shawn Bayes leaped over top Delaware State defensive back James Romain snatching a 42-yard touchdown away from the defender on what seemed to be an imminent interception.

“That was a big momentum booster right there. You could tell,” sophomore running back Eugene Jarvis said. “The fan section went crazy. Every body went crazy, and after that play, momentum changed.”

The spectacular catch wasn’t Bayes only accomplishment Saturday. After racking up 100 yards on four catches, he also returned a kickoff – in the final 22 seconds – for a touchdown. The 95-yard return gave him 195 all-purpose yards for the game.

With a 7-0 score at halftime, the Flashes came out of the locker room poised to put more points on the board.

Junior defensive back Rico Murray quickly got the ball to the offense in the third quarter with his first interception of the season. He set up Jarvis’ fourth touchdown of the season five plays later.

Jarvis rushed for 136 yards and scored another touchdown on a 42-yard strike Edelman. Giving him five touchdowns for the season, two more than he had all of last year.

Edelman seemed more comfortable staying in the pocket during the second half. He spread the ball around to seven receivers throughout the game and passed for 267 yards and three touchdowns.

In the third quarter, Edelman eluded three defenders in the backfield, sliding out of their grasp. He then found freshman receiver Rashad Tukes down the sideline for a 56-yard touchdown pass, his first career catch.

“(Edelman) actually had to stay in the pocket and make things happen,” Martin said. “This is probably the first time in his career he has had negative yards rushing, but I think it will help him grow as a quarterback. And that’s why I did it.”

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