Gold Puts Up 21 Points in the Third Quarter to Seal Spring Game Win
Despite the wet conditions and a slow first half, the Gold Team fought back to defeat the Blue Team in Saturday’s Kent State Football Spring Game, 21-0.
With the ball on the Blue Team’s 17-yard-line, junior quarterback David Fisher (Oceanside, Calif.) faked the handoff to senior running back Larry Dawson (Akron, Ohio) and rolled toward his left. Fisher found sophomore tight end Xavier Douglas (Akron, Ohio) for a 17-yard touchdown pass with 7:28 remaining in the third quarter.
Coming into Saturday’s game, Head Coach Darrell Hazell told Fisher to avoid taking big losses and he would see success on the field. He was right. Fisher finished the game completing 7-of-11 passes for 103 yards and two touchdowns.
“We were moving the ball a lot so we knew we could get them with the zones and all of that,” Fisher said. “It feels good to get the ball rolling like that. I just put it in my head to not take those big losses and manage the game before the snap.”
Hazell was not surprised by the big numbers Fisher put up, including touchdowns on three consecutive posessions.
“It was great to see David create the plays we thought he could create,” Hazell said. “That’s why we recruited him.”
Freshman kicker April Goss (Aliquippa, Pa.), the football team’s first ever female walk-on hit the point after attempt to give the Gold Team the 7-0 lead.
On the first play of the Gold Team’s following possession, junior running back Dri Archer (Laurel, Fla.) took a handoff on a reverse and ran past the Blue’s defense for a 66-yard touchdown run. Matthew Hurdle (Richmond, Va.) made a key block on the edge.
Archer, who sat out the 2011 season, showed tremendous speed down the sideline as he went untouched.
“I had to get back in the groove of things,” Archer said. “It felt good suiting up with my teammates and just playing ball. I was just trying to read my blocks and I just took a guess.”
Archer finished the game with five carries for 84 yards and his 66-yard touchdown run.
“It doesn’t even look like he’s running,” Hazell said. “He’s playing at a different speed than anyone else on the field.”
Battling for the starting quarterback job, senior Spencer Keith (Little Rock, Ark.) and Fisher struggled with consistency on the wet field of Dix Stadium during the first half. Keith’s throw to tight end Kyle Payton (Dublin, Ohio) in the first half was intercepted by senior defensive back Norman Wolfe (Akron, Ohio), who spun in front of the receiver to haul in the interception for the Gold Team. Keith threw an additional interception in the third quarter when junior linebacker C.J. Steward (Jacksonville, Fla.) intercepted the senior signal caller’s throw.
“I thought it was a good conclusion to a great spring for us,” Hazell said. “We made some huge strides in the past 15 practices. I thought we got a lot smarter as a football team.”
Fisher struggled in the first half, completing 2-of-4 passes for seven yards and was sacked once, while Keith completed 3-of-8 passes with one interception.
“I didn’t know what to expect coming into spring ball and definitely had a rocky three weeks,” Fisher said. “Coming out and ending this spring game, I feel a lot of confidence. You can never be satisfied with where you are.”
Fisher finished the scoring when he found senior wide receiver Tyshon Goode (Syracuse, N.Y.) for a 51-yard touchdown pass with 3:41 left to play in the third quarter.
Between the first and second quarter, Hazell introduced this year’s spring football award winners. After not handing out the awards in his first spring as head coach, Hazell reinstated them.
Winning the Jack Lambert Award for the defensive player who made the biggest improvement during Spring Practice was sophomore defensive back Dylan Farrington (Chapel Hill, N.C.).
Representing the offense’s most improved and winner of the Don Nottingham Award was sophomore tight end Kyle Payton, while junior tight end Tim Erjavec (Willowick, Ohio) continued to build off of the success he had last season for the Golden Flashes. Erjavec, a former walk-on linebacker, received the Gearld Victoria Read Award which exemplifies hard work and dedication beyond the call of duty.
Amidst a position battle, three-year starting quarterback Spencer Keith rounded out the award ceremony at halftime. Keith garnered the Leo Strong Award (upperclassmen with the Highest Cumulative GPA) and the Matt Ramser Award.
Presenting the Matt Ramser Award to Keith was Matt’s Parents, Carl and Vicki Ramser. The award was given to Keith for best exemplifying the qualities of “courage, dedication, attitude and commitment” that Matt had during his fight with cancer.
With the team taking a break and looking to recover from numerous injuries, Hazell is looking forward to the team having a successful summer.
“We’ve got to have the best Summer this place has ever had,” Hazell said. “If we can do that, we’ll align ourselves for a lot of good things.”
Kent State football season tickets are on sale now. Call 330-672-2244.