Kennesaw rolls past Gardner-Webb
BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. — Kennesaw State found itself trailing Gardner-Webb on Saturday — for all of 15 seconds.
After Tre Jackson kicked a 35-yard field goal, the Owls’ Isaac Foster returned the ensuing kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown, and secondranked Kennesaw State never looked back, winning 56-17.
“That was a big momentum shift in the game,” Kennesaw State coach Brian Bohannon said. “We came out flat and Gardner-Webb made some plays early, but that kind of settled us down, and we went from there.”
After Kennesaw State (6-1, 2-0 Big South Conference) went three-and-out, Gardner-Webb (1-6, 0-1) crossed midfield on a long pass to Adonus Lee. A.J. Moses picked up a first down via a run on fourth down, leading to Jackson’s field goal and a 3-0 lead for the Bulldogs.
Then came Foster’s return, which began a few yards into to the opposite end zone. The true freshman from Summerville also went the distance for a touchdown against Alabama State on Sept. 15.
“I had my momentum behind the ball. That’s why I decided to bring it out,” Foster said. My blockers opened up a seam and I just ran.”
Neither team scored for the rest of the quarter, leaving the lead at 7-3.
Kennesaw State quarterback Chandler Burks then took over, converting a fourth-down run early in the second quarter that led to his 4-yard touchdown run to make the score 14-3. Gardner-Webb drove across midfield on the next drive, but quarterback Jordan Smith was intercepted by former Mount Paran Christian School standout Dorian Walker. That play set up a 16-yard touchdown run by Burks, extending the Owls’ lead to 21-3.
Kennesaw State was not done in the first half as Darnell Holland scored on 48-yard run after collecting a pitch from Burks, as the Owls led 28-7 at halftime.
After a three-and-out forced by the Kennesaw State defense to start the second half, the offense began to chew up the clock and churn out yardage on the ground. A 7-minute, 14-second drive was capped by Burks’ 5-yard run to put the Owls in front 35-3.