April 17, 2010

Offense has its moments

KENT, Ohio-Kent State's offense wasn't perfect during an intra-squad scrimmage at Dix Stadium on Saturday, but it showed signs of finally balancing the scales against its defensive counterparts that have dominated in the past.

Sophomore quarterback Spencer Keith and classmate Dri Archer accounted for most of the damage. Keith completed 14-of-29 passes for 142 yards and a touchdown while Archer led all ball carriers with 107 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries.

"I've just been really pleased with our offense this spring," said head coach Doug Martin. "In the past we haven't been able to run the ball effectively against our defense in the spring. We haven't been able to create many explosion plays and all of a sudden those things are happening for us."

The offense managed at least 16 plays that went for 10 yards or more. Archer accounted for five of those, which included his 30-yard touchdown run.

"The offensive line was opening some holes for me and I was just getting what I could get," Archer said. "I made a few people miss and earned every yard I could earn."

Junior Jacquise Terry added 90 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown and sixth-year senior Eugene Jarvis added 10 yards rushing on seven carries.

Martin said a change in offensive philosophy has opened up the field for more players to contribute and make big plays.

"I think getting away from the spread offense is a positive for us," he said. "We're getting back into more what we were when I first came here with (Josh) Cribbs. We're more of a one-back West Coast style of team. That's been a positive."

Junior Sam Kirkland has continued to impress his coaches and teammates this spring. He caught three passes for 50 yards and one touchdown, a 25-yarder from Keith on the offense's seventh possession of the day.

Kirkland beat Leon Green and Norman Wolfe on the play.

"He made a good play," Keith said. "The safety came over right when I threw the post and Sam went up and got there. That kind of saved me there. It was a great catch."

The special teams were just as effective as the offense.

Junior punter Matt Rinehart averaged 46 yards on four punts and sophomore kicker Freddy Cortez converted 1-of-2 field goal opportunities and was a perfect 3-for-3 in point after attempts.

The defense had its moments, too.

Senior safety Brian Lainhart picked off a pass while Wolfe led the team with eight tackles and also broke up a pass and blocked a field goal. Senior linebacker Dorian Wood contributed with six tackles and a sack.

Wood said the defense missed some assignments but Archer deserves some of the credit for the offense's big day on the ground.

"Evidence of that is he was really the only running back that was breaking it, so obviously it must be something on his part, his talent," Wood said. "As far as us, we've just got to learn how to tackle this guy. He's quick. He makes you miss. I know one play I swear I had him in my grasp, next thing I know he's 20 yards behind me still running."

Kent State returns to practice on Monday. All practices are closed to the public but the Golden Flashes will conclude spring drills with their spring game on Friday, April 30.

Scoring Summary:

  • Touchdown, Spencer Keith 25-yard pass to Sam Kirkland (Freddy Cortez kick)
  • Touchdown, Dri Archer 30-yard run (Cortez kick)
  • Touchdown, Jacquise Terry 3-yard run (Cortez kick)
  • Field Goal, Cortez 28-yards

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