No losing record this season

Sean Ammerman

Wide receiver Daniel Muir celebrates after Kent State’s victory over Eastern Michigan. The 14-6 score brought an end to Kent State’s short losing streak. DAVID RANUCCI | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: Jason Hall

As Kent State football coach Doug Martin said, Friday’s win wasn’t pretty, but he is not picky about how his team snapped its three-game losing streak.

With the 14-6 win over Mid-American Conference opponent Eastern Michigan (1-10, 1-6 MAC), the Flashes (6-5, 5-2 MAC) ensured its second season without a losing record in 19 years.

“I told the players that getting the win where you secure yourself of not having a losing season is huge,” Martin said. “It the hardest one you’re ever going to get. It’s that unbreakable door you got to knock down.”

The victory also keeps the Flashes in the hunt for a bowl game, but only if they win their final game against Ball State.

After beating Akron on Thursday, Ohio secured a the top spot in the MAC East Division and knocked Kent State out of contention for the Motor City Bowl.

“I told our team that that game can’t affect how we approach this game,” Martin said. “We cant let that dictate our emotions. We had to come out here and play and we played a good football team.”

Kent State honored its senior players Friday at Dix Stadium before what was to be their final home game. Fittingly, many of them came up big in the game.

Senior wide receiver Najah Pruden gave the Flashes an early lead in the first quarter when he caught a 68-yard reception from sophomore quarterback Julian Edelman and ran it down the sideline for a touchdown.

Pruden led Kent State with four receptions and 86 yards.

The Flashes’ second touchdown came in the third quarter when senior defensive end Daniel Muir intercepted a tipped pass from Eagle’s quarterback Andy Schmitt at their own 5 yard line. Muir was close enough to the goal line to walk the ball in for his first touchdown of the year.

“The real play that was made was by (junior defensive linemen) Collin Ferrell when he hit the quarterback,” Muir said. “I was just fortunate enough to catch the football and run a couple of yards.”

Down 14-0 in the fourth quarter, Eastern Michigan stayed in the game by launching a pair of drives that went deep into Kent State territory. However, both times the Flashes’ defense regulated Eagles to two field goals from kicker Andrew Wellock.

“The red-zone execution is critical for us.” Eastern Michigan coach Jeff Genyks said. “It’s something we have to improve on.”

Edelman returned to start at quarterback after sitting out last week with a bruised sternum. His injury showed at times, and the Flashes’ offensive attack was reduced mostly to their running game.

Redshirt freshman running back Eugene Jarvis led all rushers with 171 yards off of a career-high 33 carries.

“In the beginning of the week coach Martin told me I would have to carry the load,” Jarvis said. “The offensive line blocked well and the wide receivers did a real good job getting down the field. But (Martin) is the offensive coordinator, he calls the plays, I just try to execute them.”

Edelman managed to complete some key passes, even though Martin claimed he hadn’t thrown a ball farther than 10 yards in practice all week. He finished the game with nine competions on 18 attempts, 188 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

Kent State will keep its hopes alive for bowl bid when they travel to Ball State on Friday for the final regular season week in college football.

Contact assistant sports editor Sean Ammerman at [email protected].