October 31, 2009

Flashes finish off Broncos

KENT, Ohio - Kent State's players don't like to think about the final moments of their Oct. 10 loss to Bowling Green, when the Falcons overcame a 12-point deficit to pull out a 36-35 win. But, the Golden Flashes used that disappointing loss as motivation to avoid another fourth quarter meltdown and hung on to defeat Western Michigan on Saturday, 26-14, in front of 15,206 at Dix Stadium.

"We don't like to talk about the Bowling Green game much, but we basically said we've been in this position before and we just got to go out there and physically finish the game and go out there and out-physical them; that's how you finish the game," said junior offensive lineman Pat Reedy. "We did a pretty good job of that."

Western Michigan (4-5 overall, 3-3 in the Mid-American Conference) quarterback Tim Hiller connected with Robert Arnheim on a 9-yard touchdown to cut Kent State's lead to 20-14 with 8:31 remaining in the game.

But, the Golden Flashes quickly responded.

After Dri Archer returned Western's kickoff to the Kent State 28, freshman quarterback Spencer Keith threw a screen pass to sophomore running back Jacquise Terry, who sprung free after a big block by freshman tackle Brian Winters.

Terry gained 28 yards on the play, setting the Flashes up at the Western 44.

Two plays later, on third-and-15, Keith threw a strike to senior Phil Garner, who secured the ball, and the first down, despite taking a shot from a Broncos defender.

Garner, who saw his role diminish on Saturday as the Golden Flashes used less four wide receiver sets in favor of creating mismatches by using H-Back Jameson Konz at tight end. Konz caught a career-high five balls and tied a career-high with 74 receiving yards in the game.

"Phil Garner did not hardly play in the game at all because of our personnel decisions," said Kent State head coach Doug Martin. "He was in for two plays and made the biggest catch of the game on that in-cut on a long third down catch that he made. He made a tremendous catch."

Three plays later, Terry scored on a 15-yard run to all but seal the Flashes' victory.

"We really don't want to look back on the Bowling Green but we did learn from that," Terry said. "Looking up at the clock it seemed like the same situation. Coach told me to just run the clock out and the O-line and the receivers did a great job blocking and that makes my job easier."

Terry rushed 23 times for 90 yards and one touchdown in the game. Terry has rushed for at least 75 yards in all six games he has played at running back.

Now trailing 26-14, Western Michigan moved the ball to the Kent State 38, but freshman linebacker Luke Batton picked off a Tim Hiller pass to seal the win.

Hiller completed 31-of-49 passes for 255 yards and two scores but was sacked four times by the Kent State defense.

"First and foremost, our defense has a goal and that is to stop the run and make tackles," said junior defensive end Monte Simmons, who made a career-high three sacks, forced a fumble and posted five solo tackles. "As a unit, pass rushing is our game and we want to make teams one-dimensional and that is what we did today."

Kent State scored first when freshman kicker Freddy Cortez booted a 24-yard field goal on the Flashes' first possession of the game. Western Michigan responded with a touchdown with 11:22 left in the second quarter, then the Flashes scored 17 unanswered points-a 39-yard field goal by Cortez and a pair of touchdown passes from Keith to freshman Tyshon Goode--to set up the dramatic fourth quarter.

Kent State out gained the Broncos, 477-293, and held Western Michigan to just 38 rushing yards.

The Flashes, who improved to 5-4 overall and 4-1 in the MAC, return to action next week when they travel to Akron.

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