By TONI EDWARDS
KENNESAW, Ga. – The Kennesaw State Owls faced adversity as they took on the Shorter Hawks on Saturday afternoon in a teeth-gritting game.
In their first two games, Kennesaw State won over its opponents by an average margin of 42 points. The Owls led the first game against East Tennessee State with a sweeping score of 56-16. In the following game, they demolished Edward Waters 58-7.
Although the Owls finished their third game with a win, Shorter University gave Kennesaw a run for its money. Their defense played a tough game and it was clear that they wanted to win. Kennesaw faced more adversities in this game than they have in the past two games.
The game was a battle of field goals. Each team only scored a touchdown once. The field goals played an important role in the turn out of the game, so it was important that Kennesaw State’s kicker, Justin Thompson made as many field goals as possible. He was 4 for 6 on attempted field goals putting the owls in a stressful, nail-biting situation. Although he made the field goal when it counted, those two missed field goals forced the Owls to depend heavily on their defense.
“Coach tells us every day that the next play is the most important play,” said kicker Thompson. “If you miss a field goal, you forget about it. If you make a field goal, you forget about it.”
Kennesaw’s defense shut down Shorter’s offensive attack by allowing only 176 total yards. Freshman linebacker, Dez Billingslea, who had six tackles, one sack and 1 ½ tackles for loss, led the defense. McKen Billingslea helped out with five total tackles and one tackle for loss. Sam Izzy also pitched in with five total tackles, two sacks and two tackles for losses.
With eight seconds left in the game, Kennesaw was up 12-10 but Shorter had the ball. Due to a 10-play, 56-yard drive by Shorter’s offense, Kennesaw State was placed in a win-lose situation. But, a bad snap made by Shorter’s center caused the ball to fumble. The fumble was recovered by the Owls, Dez Billingslea, for a 65 yard touchdown.
The Owls were able to overcome the adversity that they faced and raise their record to 3-0 in their inaugural season.