Another dismal day for the Flashes

Kali Price

Kent State loses fifth straight in 34-3 rout by Northern Illinois

Senior defensive lineman Roger Attieh (51) rushes Northern Illinois University wide receiver Sam Hurt (84). The Huskies went on to defeat the Flashes 34-3


Credit: Steve Schirra

Northern Illinois’s Deon Smith smashes into Kent State’s Shawn Lewis during Saturday afternoon’s game. Kent State lost 34-3.

Credit: Steve Schirra

Saturday was a dismal day for Kent State football.

The cold and rainy day resulted in a 34-3 loss for the Flashes, pushing their record to 1-6 overall and 0-4 in the Mid-American Conference.

The Huskies (4-3, 3-1 MAC) pulled ahead of the Flashes with 5:56 remaining in the first quarter and never looked back.

“We physically got handled today,” Kent State coach Doug Martin said. “We got beat by a better football team.”

The Huskies took an early lead when sophomore tight end Brandon Davis caught a 4-yard pass from junior quarterback Phil Horvath for the game’s first touchdown.

Even though the Huskies were without their two top rushers, A.J. Harris and Garrett Wolfe, Northern Illinois senior Adrian Davis single-handedly dismantled the Flashes’ defense by running for 252 yards.

Davis out-ran the whole Kent State squad, which rushed for 93 yards.

“We did play a great offensive football team. They can run the ball on anybody,” Martin said.

Kent State is giving up an average of 233 rushing yards per game. The Flashes’ opponents have garnered 1,633 yards on the ground, compared to 407 by Kent State.

Davis, 5-foot, 5-inches and 185 pounds, scored three rushing touchdowns in the game. His second was 27 seconds into the second quarter when he ran for 52 yards, putting the Huskies up 20-0.

“I’m really proud of Adrian Davis,” Northern Illinois coach Joe Novak. “That’s what we’ve felt all along, he’s a good football player, he just hasn’t had opportunities. I thought he played well. I thought our offensive line did a good job, too. I was very pleased with them, and defensively I thought we played well.”

After Davis’ second touchdown, the Huskies continued to plow through the Kent State defense for the rest of the second quarter.

Davis scored his third touchdown in the second quarter on the Huskies’ next drive after sophomore quarterback Michael Machen’s pass was intercepted. Machen was 10-of-21 for 43 yards and one interception for the game.

Kent State’s defense gave up touchdowns on four of the Huskies’ first six possessions.

“We’re playing hard on defense, but we’re not stopping the run as well as we did last year,” Martin said.

With 12:19 left in the third quarter, the Huskies scored their fifth and final touchdown, putting them up 34-0. Horvath was 10-of-16 for 121 yards and two touchdowns.

“We were missing a few of our key pieces on defense,” Martin said. “Missing Jon Sessler is a huge piece to the puzzle. He’s the second leading tackler in the nation right now. And then a few of the guys that got beat up in our Navy game and gave us all they had as long as they could.”

The Flashes’ defense was led by senior linebacker Justin Parrish, who recorded 13 total tackles, including one sack and nine solo stops.

The Flashes’ offense struggled through the entire contest, with their only score coming from senior kicker Travis Mayle’s 37-yard field goal attempt with 4:41 left in the third quarter.

Mayle’s field goal was the Flashes’ only red-zone chance of the game.

Out of 64 total offensive plays, the Flashes had 195 yards, compared to the Huskies’ 408.

The rain contributed to the Flashes only being able to complete 15-of-31 passing attempts and throw two interceptions.

“It wasn’t a great day for Kent State,” Novak said, “and what they were doing, throwing the ball. It wasn’t a great day to throw it.”

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