Chris Raimondi—Sports Editor
Kennesaw State’s club football team won their conference championship game Saturday 34-20 over Columbus State.
“I’m very proud of our guys,” KSU head coach Joseph Courson said. “They worked really hard. It’s a culmination of a whole season.”
KSU’s offense wasted no time as the team went 80 yards for the touchdown on the game’s opening drive and established a lead they never relinquished.
The Cougars were unable to get anything going offensively against the Owls early on. KSU scored its second touchdown of the game shortly after the second quarter began, but the extra point was blocked by CSU and the Owls held a 13-0 lead.
CSU found the end zone with five minutes before the half, but the extra point was also blocked and both teams went into the locker room with the score 13-6, KSU leading.
The Cougars came out of the half playing with urgency as CSU marched down the field on the opening drive for a touchdown. Extra points were hard to come by in this one, as the Owls blocked another PAT and the KSU held on to its lead, 13-12.
The Owls offense struggled through the first half of the third quarter until the KSU defense gave them a spark. CSU had the ball near midfield when the Owls intercepted a pass and returned it to the Cougars 20 yard line.
KSU were able to capitalize on the turnover and score its third touchdown of the day. After a successful fake extra point, the two-point conversion gave the Owls a commanding 21-12 lead.
CSU lost all the momentum after the trick play and KSU was able to extend its lead to 27-12 with another touchdown and a failed two-point conversion off of another fake extra point.
The Cougars fought to the end and scored a touchdown early in the fourth quarter. After a successful two-point play, it was a one-possession contest at 27-20 with 12:51 left in regulation. The Owls, however, would not break.
With less than eight minutes left in the game, KSU added its third rushing touchdown of the game and took the 34-20 lead. The Cougars threw an interception with 5:17 remaining and KSU was able to run out the clock to capture the championship.
“The offense stepped up today,” Courson said. “We ran the ball down the gut. They couldn’t stop us. Our interior linemen were just pounding, the fullback was amazing and our running back was just running over people.”
The club football team finished with a 6-1 record but did not receive a bid for the national tournament due to the one loss.
“From what I’ve been told by the NCFA, this was our last game,” Courson said. “Due to the fact that we have one loss, that sort of put us where we are not able to make the national championship. But we played what they gave us. It may say conference champions, but to us it is a season championship.”