Flashes stun Cyclones

Jonas Fortune

Edelman, Jarvis lead Flashes past Iowa State for 23-14 road victory

Kent State quarterback Julian Edelman celebrates with teammates after their 23-14 victory over Iowa State yesterday. PHOTOS BY CHARLIE NEIBERGALL | ASSOCIATED PRESS

Credit: DKS Editors

It’s a long drive from Kent to Ames, Iowa, where the Iowa State Cyclones call home. With cornfields on your left, and cornfields on your right, the 11-hour drive isn’t exactly what one would call exciting.

But the Kent State football team made the trip worthwhile for the handful of Flash fans who made it to Jack Trice Stadium yesterday as the team upset the Cyclones 23-14 in front of 47,313 mostly Iowa State fans.

The win, which was Kent State’s first non Mid-American Conference BCS victory since 1987, made one thing apparent: The Kent State football team is prepared to put the past losing seasons behind itself and live up to the preseason hype.

“Three years ago when I took over at Kent State, I had a vision in my head of what I want our football team to look like,” Kent State coach Doug Martin said. “And tonight I saw that team.”

His vision includes resilience. The team didn’t give up when Iowa State, which plays in the more powerful Big 12 Conference, showed its muscle and wasted little time in the second half, marching down the field with a quick five-play scoring drive and taking the lead 14-6.

It was sophomore Julian Edelman and junior Eugene Jarvis who stepped up, refusing to lay down like Kent State teams may have done in the past. They engineered a 12-play drive that ended with Jarvis running to the left and finding the end zone, untouched, on a two-yard run and giving the lead back to Kent State 16-14. They would never look back.

“This is a huge win for our program. We set a foundation last year with the six wins. We weren’t necessarily content with those wins, but we felt like that was a good direction of where we wanted to go,” Edelman said. “It puts a lot of smiles on peoples’ faces and shows that we’re going to do some good things this year.”

Martin’s vision also features heart, which Jarvis showcased last night. Reports before the game didn’t even have the red-shirt sophomore running back playing due to an injured foot. But, when sophomore Darren Rogers went down with an injury himself, it was Jarvis who stepped up when his team needed him the most, rushing for 116 yards on 25 carries.

“Eugene Jarvis is a winner,” Martin said. “We knew that when we recruited himin high school. You know he was playing on a bad ankle and only three days of practice.”

But most of the all, Martin’s vision includes a team that believes in itself, and the Flashes certainly did last night.

“They never had a doubt tonight,” Martin said. “They fully expected to win this game.”

So for the first time in a long time, the Flashes looked like a team with a direction, and it’s all part of Martin’s vision.

Contact sports editor Jonas Fortune at [email protected].