Winning streak continues

Sean Joseph

Edelman passes for 211 yards in Kent State’s 28-17 victory

Kent State quarterback Julian Edelman throws a pass as Temple University linebacker Junior Galette approaches during their game at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on Saturday. Kent State won 28-17. PHOTO COURTESY OF TOM CAMMETT

Credit: Jason Hall

Temple had one good drive against the first string of the Kent State football team.

The Owls’ first drive of the game was thanks to running back Tim Brown who, in just three snaps, moved the ball the whole length of the 58-yard drive and put his team up 7-0 just one minute and 51 seconds into the game. But just as it looked like he would take every Temple snap, Brown was sidelined because of a shoulder problem and wouldn’t return until the fourth quarter, and never at 100 percent.

Temple also scored a field goal in the first quarter. But the Owls didn’t score again until the fourth quarter when quarterback Adam DiMichele completed a 33-yard touchdown pass to Bruce Francis against the Flashes’ reserves.

Kent State junior running back Jon Drager gave the Flashes the padding they needed to win the game and was their go-to guy where the team usually struggles: inside the 5-yard line.

Drager ran for a 3-yard touchdown in the third quarter to give his team a 21-10 lead. And in the fourth quarter he walked in from about a foot out to put the icing on the cake.

Drager came in this season after his second reconstructive knee surgery and said he was just happy to make things happen when it counted.

“Jon (Drager) is getting more confidence in his knee,” Kent State coach Doug Martin said. “He’s a player and he always has been.”

“I’m just proud that we won this football game. Obviously we’re learning how to win. The focus wasn’t very good, but we did what we needed to do to win the game.”

The Flashes (4-2, 3-0 Mid-American Conference) were penalized 11 times for 75 yards. Their penalty yards outmatched the Owls, who have lost 18 straight games. Temple was penalized 10 times for 64 yards.

“It seemed like a flag was going up on every play and that we were in a hole every time we had the ball,” said sophomore quarterback Julian Edelman, who threw 14 completions on 25 attempts for 211 yards and one touchdown. “But we did have enough to get the victory. We need to come back stronger next week because we’re not going to beat Toledo if we play like this again.”

Kent State has won four straight games and sits atop the Mid-American Conference. The Flashes face the Rockets (2-4, 0-2 MAC) Saturday at Dix Stadium for the Homecoming game.

On Saturday, Kent State won its first non-conference road game since 1987. Temple is playing against six MAC football teams this year and will become an official member of the conference next season.

Edelman scored a touchdown on an 8-yard run in the first quarter and threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Najah Pruden in the second half that put the Flashes up for good, 14-10.

With less than six minutes to go in the fourth quarter, Kent State put in last year’s starting quarterback, junior Michael Machen, for the first time this season. His first pass was almost picked off in the end zone. He finished 1-for-2 for negative four yards after his second pass was caught after being deflected at the line of scrimmage.

Contact sports editor Sean Joseph at [email protected].