Football (5-0, 1-0 MAC) posted the game’s final 17 points and opened conference play with a 38-24 victory over the Kent State (2-4, 1-2 MAC) Saturday in Kent, Ohio.
Rainy conditions limited offensive play early on, and the Huskies were tied or led for the majority of the game. They trailed for about a four-minute stretch in the third quarter, but they responded by scoring the final 17 points of the game to earn their first conference victory of the season.
Redshirt junior running back James Spencer recorded his first career touchdown on a 22-yard run midway through the third quarter. His touchdown put the Huskies up 28-24 and proved to be the game winner. He added to the lead as he took a screen pass 11 yards for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter.
Kicker Mathew Sims ended the scoring with a 31-yard field goal that gave the Huskies a 38-24 win.
“I’m really happy for Spence [James Spencer], too,” said head coach Rod Carey in a news release. “He was the next guy in and he was ready to go. He has worked so hard.”
On the Huskies’ first possession, running back Cameron Stingily capped off an 11-play, 69-yard drive with a 17-yard touchdown run. Kent State responded immediately as senior running back/wide receiver Dri Archer returned the ensuing kickoff 100 yards to tie the game, 7-7.
After the minor scoring outburst, both teams accounted for two turnovers and one missed field goal apiece, limiting the scoring.
Redshirt junior linebacker Jamaal Bass forced an Archer fumble that senior safety Jimmie Ward recovered. Sims missed a 40-yard field goal. The Golden Flashes then intercepted redshirt senior quarterback Jordan Lynch in the red zone. Kent State missed a 44-yard field goal. Ward picked off Kent State quarterback Colin Reardon in the end zone while covering Archer, and Kent State picked off Lynch in the end zone.
After 19 minutes of scoreless, turnover-filled football, the two teams scored on the final four drives of the first half.
Lynch connected with Da’Ron Brown on a 53-yard touchdown pass with 6:16 to go in the second quarter. Reardon found Archer for a 66-yard touchdown connection less than one minute later.
The Huskies responded with a 10-play, 75-yard drive where Stingily punched in the touchdown from 1 yard out. Kent State settled for a 24-yard field goal after wide receiver Tyshon Goode dropped a wide-open pass in the end zone. The Huskies took a 21-17 lead into the half.
Goode made up for his faux pas with a 29-yard touchdown reception early in the third quarter. The touchdown gave the Golden Flashes their first lead of the game; however, it would be their final score of the game as the Huskies closed out the game with 17 consecutive points.
The Huskies posted 698 yards of total offense, including 454 yards on the ground. Stingily, who was playing on his 22nd birthday, plowed through the Kent State defense for a career-high 266 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 37 carries.
“I just wanted to play hard and I wanted a win for my birthday,” Stingily said in a news release. “I didn’t know I was going to touch the ball so many times. I read my keys and just tried to keep going.”
Spencer had six carries for 42 yards and one touchdown with two receptions for 18 yards and one touchdown.