The Mid-American Conference found its renaissance man in Kent State’s Nick Holley in the Golden Flashes’ 14-10 loss to the Ohio Bobcats.
Injuries forced Holley into the quarterback position against one of the top defenses in the MAC and the playbook certainly planned to highlight his skill set. Holley threw the ball 29 times in addition to his 41 carries for 260 total yards on the day. The team as a whole only had 264. Oh yeah, and he also punted once for the team.
Unfortunately for Holley and Kent State, they just happened to be lined up against a determined front seven led by Quentin Poling and Tarell Basham with a big addition from safety Javon Hagan. Ohio’s offense struggled most of the second half putting pressure on the defense who stepped up big time.
Ohio gave redshirt freshman quarterback Quentin Maxwell his first collegiate start in place of Greg Windham. Maxwell didn’t have to struggle much only attempting 19 passes and ending with 127 yards through the air. Luckily for him, and Bobcat fans, he had quite the duo carrying the ball all game.
Dorian Brown set the tone early with a 49-yard touchdown run on the second play of Ohio’s second drive, giving the team a lead it would hold throughout the game.
Maleek Irons stretched the lead to 14-0 with an early second quarter 4-yard touchdown that would round out Ohio’s scoring on the day. The two running backs combined for 193 yards on the ground.
Holley would score Kent State’s only touchdown to cap off a drive that lasted nearly the first nine minutes of the second half putting the score at 14-10. After that, the two defenses flexed back and forth at each other for the remainder of the game.
Ohio’s biggest stop of the game came with five minutes left in the game when Papi White fumbled a punt and Kent State took over at the Ohio 11-yard line with five minutes left down four points. Holley attempted three rushes for a net gain of four yards before attempting a fourth down pass that was well defended by Ohio captain Quentin Poling.
Dorian Brown took to the ground to burn the clock and was able to churn out three first downs to seal the result.
The win bumps Ohio to 5-3 on the season and more importantly gives the Bobcats at least a tie atop the East Division heading into next week’s game against Toledo on Thursday night.
The Golden Flashes on the other hand drop to 2-6, which gets worse when they face the fact their next contest comes Saturday on the road against Central Michigan.