KENT STATE FOOTBALL | Flashes come up inches short at Toledo – Sports – Record-Courier

For the third game in a row, the Kent State soccer team brought a juggernaut of the Mid-American Conference on-line, but fell short.

The near miss in Toledo on Tuesday night was literally inches. Golden Flashes junior quarterback Dustin Crum was stopped just short of the goal line in a potential game-tying 2-point conversion with 5:22 to go, and the Rockets (6-3, 3-2 MAC) managed the clock and escaped the glass bowl with a 35-33 triumph.

The Flashes (3-6, 2-3), who were 14-0 less than nine minutes into the game, had a chance of a tie after Crum threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to second tight end Keenan Orr to reduce the backlog to two. Kent State faked a jet sweep and let Crum run into the center, and he nearly throttled a tackler into the end zone before being pulled briefly down.

The Flashes have now lost a total of 16 points in their last three games against the co-leaders of the MAC East Division, Ohio University and Miami (Ohio) and Toledo.

“I don’t believe in luck. There are chances in every game that we have to seize, ”said second year KSU coach Sean Lewis. “We have to be cleaner, we have to finish. Everyone wants winning to be easy, easy. It is not. Toledo is a very good program. The other programs that we are fighting are also good programs. They are the benchmarks that we have to achieve. Everyone wants that instant gratification. I can promise you that we will work, get better and do everything we can to win these kinds of games. “

Crum showed another outstanding performance, completing 14 of 18 passes for 257 yards and three touchdowns without interceptions. He added 40 yards of rushing on 14 carries with another score.

Toledo tore his way through Kent State’s defense in the first half, rolling in a total of 361 yards while taking a 28-17 lead. The Rockets marched 77 yards in nine games on their first drive and took a 7-0 lead on a 14-yard touchdown run by Bryant Koback in their sophomore year, then took advantage of a fumble from Flashes senior running back Will Matthews at 14 Inches to go -0 on a 19 yard TD pass from junior quarterback Eli Peters to senior wide receiver Desmond Phillips.

Faced with the prospect of another one-sided loss to the Rockets, who have all won eight of the last nine matchups with Kent State by double digits, the Flashes regrouped behind Crum. The junior caller linked up with senior wide receiver Kavious Price (4 catches, career high 102 yards) for 52 yards to set up a 26 yard field goal from Matthew Trickett, then hit the senior wideout Michael Carrigan with a 70-yard bomb to make it 14-10.

The teams then swapped touchdowns, Toledo scoring a 2-yard Koback run, then Kent State responded with a 28-yard touchdown pass from Crum to second running back Xavier Williams (11 carries, 63 yards). The Rockets added another score on a 1-yard run from junior running back Shakif Seymour to take a 28-17 halftime lead.

The Flashes defense suddenly found foothold in the third quarter, holding Toledo at a total of 36 yards. An interception from senior cornerback Jamal Parker set up a season-long 47-yard field goal from Trickett, then Crum hit from 11 yards with a third and one goal to bring the deficit down to 28-27.

Toledo’s next drive ended almost deep in KSU territory when junior linebacker Kesean Gamble picked up a Peters pass, but lightning linebacker Cepeda Phillips was marked for roughing the pass. The Rockets took advantage of the break and climbed 35-27 on a 5-yard touchdown run from Seymour.

Once again, Kent State wasn’t going to fold. Crum turned a third-and-18 with a 28-yard pass to Matthews, a third-and-seven with an 8-yard run, then completed the fourth and goal pass on Orr to get his team within 35 -33 to bring. Crum then fell short of centimeters in the 2-point conversion.

The Flashes burned their final timeout with 2:31 remaining and Toledo ahead of a fourth and 1 out of their own 40, but Seymour ran 10 yards behind the right side of his line to prevent the game.

“This team, this family, is going to get better, show tremendous determination, and work and fight all the way through,” said Lewis. “I know our players will do it right.”

Seymour finished with 175 yards on 28 carries for the Rockets, who stacked 289 yards on the ground in 52 tries. Junior linebacker Mandela Lawrence-Burke led the KSU defense with 15 tackles while Phillips added 13 tackles and one sack.

Kent State returns home to Buffalo (5-4, 3-2) on November 14th.

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