RMU football’s home winning streak ends at 7, falls to no. 12 Kennesaw State

Alijah+Jackson+is+tackled+by+Kennesaw+States+Tyler+Moore.+Photo+credit%3A+Tyler+Gallo

Alijah Jackson is tackled by Kennesaw State’s Tyler Moore. Photo credit: Tyler Gallo

By Kevin Plowcha, Contributor

MOON TOWNSHIP– RMU football (3-5, 2-3 Big South) looked to keep their home win streak alive against a fearsome opponent in the no. 12 ranked Kennesaw State Owls (8-1, 5-0).

The Colonials came into this game as 21-point underdogs. The last time they played Kennesaw State, they were blown out 35-0, but they were on the road. This time, RMU had the home crowd there to help.

“It’s always great to play in front of our fans,” Head Coach Bernard Clark said. “They’re excited to come to the games. They come because they know we’re going to fight and have a good time.”

The Colonials won the toss and elected to receive. RMU was looking to start the game off right, as they got to about midfield. Unfortunately, George Martin III was sacked at the KSU 47 and fumbled the ball. This gave KSU good field position, which they took advantage of.

It took the Owls just three plays to capitalize. After a 48-yard pass to Caleb O’Neal, KSU was at the RMU 8-yard line. Two plays later, Nykeem Farrow rushed 9 yards to give the Owls a 7-0 lead.

RMU got the ball back after the kickoff and looked to answer. For the majority of the drive, RMU looked solid. Aided by a KSU pass interference in the middle of the drive, RMU got all the way down to the KSU 7. Unfortunately, George Martin III was hit and fumbled again, which completely derailed all of the momentum that the Colonials had.

“We had two turnovers early and it hurt us,” Bernard Clark said. “When you do stuff like that and can’t get it together on defense, it’s tough to beat a team like this.”

Good teams usually take advantage, and the Owls did exactly that. They methodically made their way down the field, taking 5:16 off the clock, and found the end zone after a 29-yard TD pass to Caleb O’Neal which gave KSU a 14-0 lead.

As the 1st quarter blended into the 2nd quarter, the next drives for each team resulted in punts.

RMU got the ball back with 10:27 left in the 1st half, and this is when they started to find their footing. An eight-play, 75-yard drive lasting 4:27 ended with a George Martin III TD pass to Jaylon Brown, cutting the deficit to 14-7.

KSU’s next drive needed to be stopped, but unfortunately, a few penalties cost RMU. KSU took advantage (despite getting an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty of their own), and finished a 75-yard drive with another touchdown pass to Caleb O’Neal, giving the Owls a 21-7 lead heading into halftime.

The 2nd half started with consecutive punts from each team before KSU got their offense going again. Despite a near turnover from the Colonials, KSU scored on the very next play, with Gabriel Benyard having a 49-yard rushing TD, putting the Owls up 28-7.

For most of the 3rd quarter, RMU’s offense couldn’t get going. It was only a matter of time until KSU’s offense put the game away.

The Owls scored 21 in the 3rd quarter compared to just 7 for RMU. This includes a two-play TD drive which included a 53-yard kickoff return followed by a 42 yard TD pass to Adeolu Adeleke, extending KSU’s lead to 42-14.

The 4th quarter didn’t include much action. Kennesaw State kicked a 48-yard field goal, and RMU scored a TD late in the 4th quarter. Jake Kupchella caught a 3-yard TD pass to make the score 45-21, and that’s what the score remained as the clock hit triple zeroes.

The Colonials travel to West Long Branch, New Jersey, to take on Monmouth next Saturday at noon.