by Ryan Strodtbeck
KENT, OHIO– It’s finally here! Mid-week MACtion is back! On Halloween Night the Bowling Green State University Falcons took on the Kent State Golden Flashes. With both teams coming into the matchup struggling on the season it was time for both teams to come out and add a victory to their name.
Last year the Falcons won three games and lost one on days not labeled Saturday. Coming in with a one and seven record on the season the Falcons also look to end on a high note, much like they did last season.
To begin the game the Falcons came out firing on all cylinders. On the first offensive possession, Bowling Green marched down the field to score on a three-yard touchdown run by Andrew Clair. Clair’s 43-yard run helped propel the drive. On the following defensive possession, Cam Jeffries intercepted a George Bollas pass, which led to a 28-yard field goal from Jake Suder.
The Orange and Brown would then force a punt to follow the field goal. Starting inside their own 10-yard line the Falcons would drive 90 yards to go up 17-0 on the Golden Flashes, which would be a new season high for them in points scored in a quarter and largest lead at any given point.
Datrin Guyton capped off the 90-yard yard with a 36-yard touchdown pass from Jarret Doege, who got the start on the night after missing time from an injury he suffered a month ago. Bowling Green would end the first quarter with the lead and scored every time they had the ball that quarter.
To start off the second quarter, Kent State marched down the field before stalling on the Bowling Green 26-yard line on fourth and one. Head Coach Paul Haynes decided to go for it and it paid off. The Flashes would get the first down and end up capitalizing on the drive with a Bollas run from 22 yards out. Kent State would miss the extra point, making the game 17 to six in favor of the Falcons.
After a punt by Bowling Green, the Flashes would start with their backs to the goal line, as Joe Davidson pinned the Flashes to their own six-yard line. Dustin Crum came in at quarterback for the Flashes on the drive but after just two plays Crum would fumble deep in his own territory and the ball would be recovered by BG which would set up another Falcon field goal from 29 yards out. Kent State would add a field goal right before the half ended, but Bowling Green would find themselves ahead at halftime for the first time this season.
Coming out the locker room Kent State would get the ball. They would get a nice run to start their drive that brought them to midfield but the drive would stall there and they were forced to punt. Following the punt, the Falcons would get some help on a nice catch by Teo Redding on the sideline and a penalty by Kent State that erased an interception thrown by Doege.
The Falcons would face fourth and short and end up going for it to get the first down. Jarret Doege would finish the drive off with a run from one yard out to put the Falcons out front with a 27-9 lead. Falcons would add another touchdown with about two minutes to go in the third quarter. Josh Cleveland would run it in from five yards out. At the end of the third quarter, the Falcons would be in full control of the game, up 34-9.
Kent State started off the fourth quarter with a wildcat formation on the goal line which prompted a Will Matthews three-yard touchdown run. Kent State would narrow the lead to 34-16. On the very next drive, the Falcons would set up with good field position after a nice run back by Matt Wilcox on the kickoff. The Falcons would take advantage of the field position as Jarret Doege threw a seven-yard touchdown pass to Teo Redding. On Kent State’s next drive the Falcons would hall in their second interception of the game as Marcus Milton would pick off Bollas and set the Falcons up in enemy territory once again.
Following the interception, the Falcons would send out their second unit with the commanding lead. Not much would get going on the drive, but Suder would kick in a 28-yard field goal to make it 44-16 Bowling Green with just over nine minutes left in the game. A bad snap on a punt attempt for Bowling Green put Kent State deep in Falcon territory late in the game. However, a turnover on downs gave the Falcons the ball back and they would line-up in victory formation to close out the game.
The Falcons collect their second win of the season and improve to 2-7 on the year.
Some notable performers on the day would be Andrew Clair who rushed for 133 yards on just eight carries and picked up a touchdown. This would mark the fourth straight game of 100 plus yards for Clair, and he is the first Falcon to do so since Travis Greene in 2013.
The Falcons rushing attack finished with 227 total yards. Jarett Doege picked up his first win as a quarterback in his young career and looked impressive doing so. He ended the game completing 14-of-18 passes with 174 yards and two touchdowns. He also added a touchdown on the ground as well.
The Anniversary Award was found after disappearing for nearly 20 years and it is coming back to Bowling Green after beating Kent State. The Falcons will head to Buffalo next Tuesday for some more mid-week MACtion to take on the Bulls. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.