COLUMN: Flashes’ best performance hidden in loss

Kali Price

A win is a win and a loss is a loss.

Or is it?

Navy coach Paul Johnson said, “It wasn’t a pretty game. That would be an understatement.”

Even the Washington Post said that “Navy’s Win Isn’t ‘Good Looking'”.

But while the Mids think that their play was sub par, the Flashes played one of their best games since their 69-17 win over Eastern Michigan in 2004.

The three games leading up to Saturday were painful to watch. The Flashes kept making fundamental mistakes, throwing interceptions, dropping passes and missing blocks.

Saturday was a different story.

It looked like a new team came out onto the field.

The numbers might not prove it, but the Flashes played with a whole new intensity.

Navy had 532 offensive yards while the Flashes only had 389.

The Flashes didn’t even force any punts out of the Mids.

But while Navy had 196 passing yards, Kent State posted 292 throwing yards. Machen completed 61 percent of his passing attempts and while he was picked off twice, he led a fourth-quarter comeback.

In the second quarter, Machen threw a 65-yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Najah Pruden. The pass was one of Machen’s best of the season.

Even though Pruden was called for unsportsmanlike conduct for celebrating in the end zone, it was a well-deserved call.

The old saying “when you get to the end zone, act like you’ve been there before,” never really has applied to the Flashes.

The team has been through 30 years of losing. Thirty years of no one believing in the program.

But to the Flashes, Saturday’s loss was good looking.

Kent State coach Doug Martin said all along that he believes the team is a good program and that the Flashes have the potential to have a winning season.

Although the Flashes are out of contention for the Mid-American Conference title and there is always next year, there are still five more games that the Flashes are a whole new team.

“The old days of Kent State getting beaten up and blown out by people are over,” Kent State coach Doug Martin said. “If you’re going to beat us, you better be willing to go down to the last play of the game.”

Contact assistant sports editor and football reporter Kali Price at [email protected].