Senior quarterback Dustin Crum dropped down to pick up a low snap before he gathered himself to hit sophomore Ja’Shaun Poke streaking across the field.
Poke took the ball into the end zone for Kent State’s fourth straight touchdown and what would have been the dagger in Bowling Green.
But, it looked on review as if Crum’s knee might have touched the ground, and the officials decided to take a closer look.
After a long deliberation, the play stood, and Crum had his fourth touchdown of the night. The dagger was back in, and Kent State would continue to dominate Bowling Green on the road.
The game would end in a 62-24 victory as Kent State moved for 2-0 for the first time since 1988.
At the end of the first quarter the game was tied 10-10, but Kent State’s defense held Bowling Green to 55-yards of offense and the Flashes scored four straight touchdowns to go into halftime up 38-10.
That scoring run would extend to six straight touchdowns in the second half. Bowling Green did not score for over two full quarters in the middle of the game.
“I think our kids needed to settle into the game and make some adjustments,” coach Sean Lewis said. “[Then we] were able to execute and have great focus. Some big explosive plays kind of shifted the nature and the momentum of the game. When we got the momentum on our side we really seized the moment.”
Kent State’s offense was powered by a career day from Crum, who scored a career high-tying four passing touchdowns and 271 on 18/27 passing.
Crum credited his success to the work that his wide receivers did after they caught the ball.
“A lot of that [production] is on the shoulders of the receivers,” he said. “Those guys are really good at making defenders miss.”
The Flashes held off Bowling Green with relative ease to capture the win and move to 2-0 in this season’s Mid-American Conference only schedule.
Kent State’s defense was just as dialed in, holding Bowling Green to 365 total yards alongside 24 points, most of which came after the game had been decided.
“That is huge” said Crum. “Whenever they can keep the ball on our side and give us more opportunities to get out offense going it keeps the momentum on our side.”
The defense was lead in tackles by Dean Clark,with seven.
The Flashes didn’t have any turnovers, but a huge defensive play was made when redshirt freshman Brandon Coleman had a sack of 12 yards. Coleman also had five tackles.
Early in the game, penalties held back the Flashes’ offense, with two long touchdowns being called back on penalties. But Kent State maintained discipline and penalties would not derail the offense after the first quarter.
“Sometimes you have to just let [penalties] go and move on to the next play,” Crum said.
Having two touchdowns called back was not enough to stop the Flashes offense, which would finish with 608 total yards.
The passing attack at Crum’s disposal is usually led by junior Isaiah McKoy, and he produced as usual with 74 yards and two touchdowns on six receptions.
But a few newer faces were also crucial pieces in the Flashes’ offense.
Poke scored the first touchdown of his college career. He would add another to finish with two scores and 80 yards.
Poke was an all around workhorse for the Flashes, making two crucial special teams plays as well, including a chase down to prevent an early kickoff return from turning into a touchdown.
Also contributing in the passing game were redshirt freshman Dante Cephas with 55 yards and redshirt junior Isaac Vance with 48.
Freshman Marquez Cooper scored the first touchdown of his Kent career and decided it wasn’t enough. Cooper finished the game with two touchdowns and 53 yards on the ground. Leading the Flashes in rushing yards was a different back though; redshirt freshman Bryan Bradford amassed 113 yards on 13 attempts, averaging 8.7 yards a carry.
Lewis said his team still has a lot to work on, but the Flashes certainly seemed to have all the answers tonight.
Kent State’s next game is the Wagon Wheel Rivalry against Akron, which will be at home on Tuesday, Nov. 17. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.
Owen MacMillan is a sports editor. Contact him at email@example.com.