The Kennesaw State football team prevailed 47-39 over the Gardner-Webb University Runnin’ Bulldogs in a must-win Big South Conference matchup Saturday, Oct. 22.
Kennesaw State (4-2, 1-1 BSC) entered the game following a 36-21 loss at home against Liberty University, looking to make a statement in the Big South against conference rival Gardner-Webb (3-5, 1-1 BSC).
“Anytime you can go on the road,” said head coach Brian Bohannon, “and win in the conference, it’s big.”
The afternoon seemed to be an offensive showcase for the Owls as they accumulated 510 yards of total offense, scoring nine total touchdowns in the process while only punting twice throughout the whole game.
The Runnin’ Bulldogs struck first, going up 7-0, but the Owls quickly answered when senior running back Chaston Bennett ran for his fifth touchdown of the season.
Senior defensive back Dante Blackmon accounted for the game’s only turnover in the first quarter. This was Blackmon’s sixth interception of the season, making him the leader in the BSC.
The Owls’ defense then held off the Gardner-Webb offense three drives in a row to help KSU go up 26-7 with 11:33 to play in the first half.
On the next drive, senior quarterback Trey White entered the game and scored his first touchdown since getting injured earlier in the season.
Despite an early 61-yard touchdown pass to Bennett in the third quarter, the second half was more of a dogfight for the Owls as GWU scored three consecutive times, bringing the score to 47-39 with 12:12 remaining in the game.
The Owls made a late stand against Gardner-Webb as the momentum shifted to the home side. KSU’s defense held up stopping Gardner-Webb twice on fourth down, sealing the game.
Red-shirt sophomore linebacker Anthony Gore Jr. led the KSU defense with 12 tackles while linebacker Izzy Sam added 11 more. On the offensive side of the ball, Bennett impressed with 223 all-purpose yards on the day along with three touchdowns.
The victory gives KSU its fifth of the season and first conference win of the year.
The Owls will look to continue their success on the road as they face Monmouth University (4-4, 0-3 BSC) next Saturday, Oct. 29.