Football falls to Ball State by a touchdown in midweek MACtion

Jacob Hansen, Reporter

Kent State’s football team led Ball State 13-0 by the end of Tuesday’s first quarter – then the Cardinals responded with 17 unanswered points in the second.

Ball State, now 3-2 in the Mid-American Conference and 5-4 overall, defeated Kent State 27-20.

The Flashes are 2-3 in the MAC and 3-6 overall.

The Flashes opened the game with a field goal from sophomore kicker Andrew Glass.

Junior running back Marquez Cooper rushed for 35 yards in the first possession. He became the ninth-leading rusher in Kent State football history.

On Ball State’s second play, KSU’s redshirt senior cornerback Montre Miller broke up a deflected pass, allowing redshirt junior linebacker CJ Harris to come up with an interception.

KSU scored another field goal on the next drive. The score was 6-0 at 9:28.

Kent State forced Ball State to go three-and-out on the next drive.

After eight plays and 48 yards, redshirt junior quarterback Collin Schlee, who was out last game due to a right leg injury, hit redshirt sophomore wide receiver Devontez Walker for a 14-yard touchdown.

Star redshirt junior wide receiver Dante Cephas, who ranked 19th nationally going into the game with 731 receiving yards, sat out with a lower-body injury. Walker ranked 39th with 616 yards.

Ball State scored two touchdowns in the second quarter to take a 14-13 lead. Sophomore running back Carson Steele rushed 15 yards for the first touchdown. Redshirt junior quarterback John Paddock threw for 43 yards to senior wide receiver Jayshon Jackson for his team’s second scoring play.

Jackson ranked 34th nationally heading into Tuesday with 633 receiving yards.

With 14 seconds left to go in the half, the Cardinals hit a 34-yard field goal.

Ball State led 17-13 at halftime.

Cooper totaled 101 rushing yards in the first half. Schlee had 97 passing yards.

The Cardinals had 202 passing yards at the half and 91 rushing yards.

Ball State scored a field goal in the third quarter, extending the lead 20-13.

Cooper broke Kent State’s second and third quarter slump with a 23-yard touchdown to tie the game 20-20 at 6:08. This was Cooper’s 25th career touchdown – he is now tied for eighth in touchdowns in program history.

With just 2:47 left in the game, the Cardinals went seven plays for 75 yards, taking back the lead at 27-20 with an eight-yard touchdown pass.

Kent State had the ball on its own 48 on third-and-3 at 2:05, Schlee went for the first down on fourth-and-3 but slid too early, turning the ball over.

Steele, who is the eighth leading rusher in the nation, had 192 rushing yards in the game with a touchdown.

Cooper, the 11th-leading rusher in the nation, had 168 rushing yards and a touchdown.

Jacob Hansen is a reporter. Contact him at [email protected]