Red Right 88

In Cleveland, hope dies last

It’s Dri Archer’s world and the MAC is his playground

It’s Dri Archer’s world, and all the rest of the teams in the Mid-American Conference can do is watch in awe.

Archer ran for a career-high 241 yards and two touchdowns – on a 79-yard run and a 74-yard run – against the conference’s top-rated run defense as Kent State clinched its first East Division championship with a 31-24 win over Bowling Green on Saturday. The win guarantees the Golden Flashes a spot opposite Northern Illinois in the MAC Championship game in Detroit on Nov. 30.

Even with Archer dominating on offense, it wasn’t easy for Kent State (10-1, 7-0 in the MAC). The Golden Flashes had to stop Bowling Green (7-4, 5-2 in the MAC) twice in the final five minutes of the game and didn’t seal the win until Luke Wollet intercepted a Matt Schilz pass in the end zone with 21 seconds left.

“This is definitely the biggest game of my life, especially with the way it ended,” Archer said. “It was just wild.”

The win was Kent’s 14th in their past 16 games and 11th straight conference win in what is turning into a historic season for a program that has had more winless seasons (four) than winning seasons (two) in the past 40 years.

“We definitely had some doubt before this year, and that’s just because of our history,” said quarterback Spencer Keith. “Now every game there is never any doubt in our minds. We go into every week believing we will win.”

Saturday’s win was Kent State’s ninth in a row, the longest winning streak in school history; it’s sixth consecutive win on the road, also a team record; and it’s 10 wins are the most in the program’s 90-year history.

“What a wonderful win for this football program and all the people who have ever put on football uniforms, ever put on a Kent State sweatshirt,” coach Darrell Hazell said. “To think what our team has accomplished this season and the end of last season, it’s mind-boggling. It tells you when guys put their minds to something and they work the plan, so much can be accomplished.”

(Photo by The Associated Press)


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