KENT, Ohio - The Ball State football team (3-2, 1-1 MAC) fell to Kent State (3-1, 2-0 MAC) by a score of 45-43 Saturday afternoon in Mid-American Conference action at Dix Stadium.
"It was disappointing," Ball State head coach Pete Lembo says. "I did not think we played great from start to finish. That is on me. I have got to do a better job of getting these guys ready and making sure we get off to a better start. Every possession counts against a good defense like Kent State's and not coming away with points on that very first possession really hurt us. I thought Kent State playedvery well and were very well prepared."
With 6:08 left to play in the fourth quarter, senior quarterback Keith Wenning threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to sophomore wide receiver Willie Snead to cut a 13-point Kent State lead to 42-36.
On Kent State's next possession, the Ball State defense tipped Spencer Keith's pass and senior defensive tackle Brandon Newman intercepted the ball to set up another Cardinals touchdown. Wenning's 6-yard strike to senior wide receiver Connor Ryan gave Ball State its first lead of the game at 43-42.
But Kent State then put together a 15-play, 86-yard drive with less than two minutes left that set up kicker Freddy Cortez to nail a 25-yard game-winning field goal for the Golden Flashes.
Wenning ended the day with a career high five touchdown passes and a personal best in passing yards with 445. The five TD passes tied a school record, with the last time being in 2002 from former Ball State quarterback Andy Roesch against Central Michigan.
Snead had a career high with 14 catches, which was just one shy of the school record, and a career best 216 receiving yards.
After a scoreless first quarter, Kent State got on board first at the 13:27 mark in the second quarter when tailback Trayion Durham scored on a 1-yard touchdown run. Ball State answered back in its ensuing possession as Wenning connected on a 6-yard TD pass to senior wide receiver Jamill Smith, evening the score at 7-7.
The Golden Flashes held a 21-13 halftime lead, after a 99-yard kickoff return from Dri Archer and a 23-yard touchdown pass from Keith to Archer. Ball State closed the half with a 44-yard field goal from Schott.
It was an offensive battle in the third quarter, as both teams scored two touchdowns apiece. Wenning's second touchdown of the quarter on a 13-yard TD pass to Ryan put him over 300 yards passing for the fifth time in his career.
The Ball State football team continues MAC action at home Saturday when it hosts Northern Illinois at Scheumann Stadium with a 3 p.m. kickoff
Ball State 0, Kent State 0
Kent State 7, Ball State 0
13:27 - Trayion Durham 1-yard touchdown run. Freddy Cortez kick good.
12 plays, 66 yards, 5:00
Ball State 7, Kent State 7
11:29 - Keith Wenning 6-yard touchdown pass to Jamill Smith. Steven Schott kick good.
5, 65 yards, 1:58
Kent State 14, Ball State 7
11:16- Dri Archer 99-yard kickoff return. Freddy Cortez kick good.
Kent State 14, Ball State 10
8:39- Steven Schott 30-yard field goal.
9 plays, 50 yards, 2:29
Kent State 21, Ball State 10
7:02- Spencer Keith 23-yard touchdown pass to Dri Archer. Freddy Cortez kick good.
4 plays, 75 plays, 1:37
Kent State 21, Ball State 13
:00 - Steven Schott 44-yard field goal.
7 plays, 55 yards, 3:41
Kent State 28, Ball State 13
13:19 - Spencer Keith 28-yard touchdown pass to Matt Hurdle. Freddy Cortez kick good.
3 plays, 75 yards, 1:41
Kent State 28, Ball State 19
10:38 - Keith Wenning 28-yard touchdown pass to Willie Snead.
8 plays, 75 yards, 2:41
Kent State 28, Ball State 26
6:22 - Keith Wenning 13-yard touchdown pass to Connor Ryan. Steven Schott kick good.
8 plays, 54 yards, 3:12
Kent State 35, Ball State 26
3:58 - Spencer Keith 33-yard touchdown pass to Dri Archer. Freddy Cortez kick good.
6 plays, 64 yards, 2:24
Kent State 35, Ball State 29
13:40- Steven Schott 21-yard field goal.
7 plays, 52 yards, 2:12
Kent State 42, Ball State 29
9:21- Trayion Durham 1-yard touchdown run. Freddy Cortez kick good.
8 plays, 76 yards, 4:14
Kent State 42, Ball State 36
6:08- Keith Wenning 19-yard touchdown pass to Willie Snead. Steven Schott kick good.
8 plays, 76 yards, 3:07
Ball State 43, Kent State 42
5:38- Keith Wenning 6-yard touchdown pass to Connor Ryan. Steven Schott kick good.
1 play, 21 yards, :23
Kent State 45, Ball State 43
:05 - Freddy Cortez 25-yard field goal.
15 plays, 86 yards, 2:00