The Kennesaw State football team advanced to four straight wins after blowing out the Texas Southern Tigers in Saturday night’s competition.
After last week’s dramatic victory over North Greenville, the Owls managed to come away with their first comfortable win of the season, defeating Texas Southern 48-3.
Long-yardage gains were the story of the night for the Owls. Justin Sumpter played a large role as he tallied 92 receiving yards on only three catches. His longest reception of the night went for 44 yards.
KSU found success in a running game led by Chandler Burks who tallied three rushing touchdowns against the Tigers defense. Tj Reed rushed for 92 yards on only two carries and scored his first rushing touchdown of the season on a 79-yard, fourth quarter scamper.
While the offense was able to rack up 484 yards of total offense, the KSU defensive and special team units were equally as impressive.
Shaquil Terry made school history when he returned the second half opening kickoff 97 yards for KSU’s first kickoff return touchdown.
“I’m proud of the kickoff return, the first one in school history,” said head coach Brian Bohannon. “I’ve been getting on Shaq about getting into the endzone. I’m proud of him, and I’m proud of the guys blocking.”
Just as the offense found success running the ball, the Owls defense found success stopping the run, only allowing 44 rushing yards and 171 yards of total offense.
In addition to holding Texas Southern to a single field goal, the defense forced three, first-half turnovers to help the Owls establish an aggressive position and shut out Texas Southern in the second half.
Bryson Armstrong added 10 more tackles to his impressive resume but had an even larger impact on the game than stats might show. Aside from intercepting Texas Southern quarterback Dominic DeLira in the first quarter, his presence was felt on nearly every play, rushing the quarterback and breaking up passes.
All members of the defensive unit were able to get in on the action, stifling the run and only allowing short bursts of passing success from Texas Southern. The Tigers longest play of the night was a 24-yard reception from Tracy Johnson Jr.
Consistency and the ability to finish games have been two areas of concern for Bohannon this season. The Owls controlled the game from the opening kickoff and came out strong in the second half.
“I thought our kids were focused and ready to play,” Bohannon said. “I’m proud of our football team. Part of the process of building and growing is learning how to get yourself ready every week regardless of opponents… and we’ve been fighting that good fight for the last four weeks.”
With the win over Texas Southern, KSU’s record improves to 4-1. This is the third consecutive season the Owls have started their first five games with this winning record. KSU heads into conference play next week with the offense and defense looking to be in midseason form.
Although they have lost their past two games, Liberty University is still a dangerous team, having upset Baylor in its season opener. The Flames are 2-1 at home, but the Owls will look to steal a game on the road.
The Liberty homecoming game will be the first conference matchup of the season for the Owls, with the winner placing a potential early-season bid for the conference title. The game is scheduled for a 6 p.m. kickoff and will be available to watch on the ESPN app and on the radio at 106.3 and 1230 The Fan.