Food, fun and Flashes as thousands celebrate homecoming at Dix Stadium

The+Kent+State+Student+Section+cheers+on+the+Golden+Flash+football+team+during+the+Homecoming+game.+The+men+won+against+Ohio+University+31-24.

Asha Blake

The Kent State Student Section cheers on the Golden Flash football team during the Homecoming game. The men won against Ohio University 31-24.

Katherine Masko, Social Media Manager

Hot dogs on grills, students in navy blue and alumni hanging out can only mean one thing: homecoming.

Tables, tents and grills packed Dix Stadium parking lot Saturday while music blared from different parking spots, from “The Spins” by Mac Miller to “Juju on That Beat” by Zay Hilfigerrr & Zayion McCall.

“I love how connected it is and how everyone is so loving towards each other,” said senior fashion merchandising major Alexandra Feete.

KentWired went around asking students their game score predictions.

@kentwired Happy homecoming Flashes! KentWired went out at tailgate to ask students their game predictions! #kentwired #tv2 #tv2sports @tv2sports ♬ original sound – KentWired

“It’s a great time coming out here and tailgating every year,” said Joseph Stump, a sophomore accounting major.

Katie McNamara (left) and Brianna Wilson spend time together during the tailgate. Wilson ran up to McNamara for a hug before the game. (Asha Blake)

Kent State’s Flash Nation Tailgate started at 1:30 p.m., providing free food, face painting, caricatures, bounce houses, a photo booth and a performance from the Kent State cheerleaders.

“Honestly just hanging out with the people, playing pong with friends and stuff like that, it’s what really makes homecoming special,” said Stefan Hendricks, a senior computer science major.

The Kent State Golden Flashes faced off against Ohio University Bobcats in their first Mid-American Conference match-up of the season. Kickoff was at 3:30 p.m. Second quarter ended with a score of 10-7, Bobcats.

Halftime included a rousing one-time performance with the Marching Golden Flashes playing only Harry Styles tunes.

The band filled the stadium with sound, playing “Story of My Life” and “What Makes You Beautiful” from his days in the boyband One Direction and “As It Was,” “Canyon Moon” and “Sign of the Times” from his time as a solo artist.

Homecoming court was honored after the band played.

The 2022 Homecoming Royalty are Quintin Cooks, a senior communications studies major, and Gavin Aitken, a senior applied communications studies major.

“I wanted to run to sort of encapsulate everything I’ve done here at Kent State,” Cooks said.

Both Cooks and Aitken expressed shock at winning.

The 2022 Homecoming Royalty Gavin Aitken and Quintin Cooks pose for a photo with President Todd Diacon. The men recieved a lot of cheers by the crowd when their names were announced. (Asha Blake)

“It’s still crazy!” Aitken said. “I literally am still relishing in it … I think. It hasn’t really clicked in yet.”

After halftime, the game carried on. With only 4:11 left in the fourth quarter, the Flashes brought the game to a tie: 17-17. The Bobcats scored shortly after, bringing the game to 24-17 with only 3:54 left.

The fight wasn’t over yet. The Flashes scored another touchdown, tying with only two seconds left, bringing the game into overtime.

Eventually, the Golden Flashes won 31-24 after a nail-biting overtime.

“Football, tailgating and camaraderie is what today is all about,” said Daniel Stephenson, a sophomore computer science major.

Katherine Masko is social media manager. Contact her at [email protected]