Notch one in the win column for the Kent State Golden Flashes, who benefitted from the spectacular second half play of Colin Reardon in a 39-17 victory on Saturday afternoon. Reardon, a second-year starter in the blue and gold, accounted for two passing touchdowns and one on the ground in the second half alone.
The sophomore threw for 360 yards (a career high) on 27-of-40 passes and three touchdowns, and tossed an interception. After the game, Reardon addressed the mindset after the interception that he threw on the first play from scrimmage.
"You just have to move on. My teammates talked to me and got my head back to where it's supposed to be. After that, everything started clicking for us. The O-Line blocked great, running backs helped with the blocking and ran hard when they got the ball. Everything was finally how it was supposed to be."
KSU took the three-point halftime lead (its first of the season) and turned in its best half of football all year, outscoring Army 26-7. It took just three offensive plays in the second half for the Flashes to extend their lead to 10 with an eight-yard strike from Reardon to Chris Humphrey. Army answered back with a nine-play 77-yard drive that was capped off by a Tony Giovannelli score from eight yards.
It was all Kent State, all everything from that point on. Two Melchiori field goals and scores in the air (to Casey Pierce), and on the ground (our boy Reardon) helped KSU to force the Black Nights to yield. Seven different Golden Flashes receivers pulled in receptions, with Humphrey, Pierce, and James Brooks leading the way.
As much ribbing as the HB twitter account gives MAC kickers, Anthony Melchiori knocked through each of his four field goal tries on the day.
Defensively, Nick Cuthbert racked up 10 tackles for the Golden Flashes in his first start of the season, leading a defense that bent but did not break while allowing 322 yards on the ground.
Kent State's 13-play 84-yard scoring drive in the first half (which culminated in a field goal from Melchiori), was its longest scoring drive of the season.
Head coach Paul Haynes reiterated the importance of the win afterwards in the press conference:
"Finally got over the to get a win and I'm so proud of these guys for all that we've been through this year, all the ups and downs but they keep fighting. They prepare like crazy and it's finally paid off and I'm so happy for them."