Kennesaw State tops ETSU to open inaugural season
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (STATS) - Kennesaw State's football program is off and running - literally.
The Owls won the first game in program history Thursday night, rushing for 416 yards in a 56-16 rout of East Tennessee State at Steve Spurrier Field at Kermit Tipton Stadium.
ETSU was returning to football for the first time since it discontinued its program after the 2003 season.
Kennesaw State, located in Kennesaw, Georgia, and a member of the Big South Conference, scored 49 unanswered points after it trailed 13-7 in the second quarter.
Quarterback Trey White led coach Brian Bohannon's triple option with 95 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries. Chaston Bennett rushed for 87 yards on seven carries, Darnell Holland scored on a 63-yard run and had 83 yards on two carries, and Micah Reed finished with 78 yards on 11 carries. Jae Bowen had two short touchdown runs.
The Owls took control with three touchdowns within a three-minute span of the second and third quarters. They went ahead 14-13 on Bowens' 2-yard run with 1:48 left in the second quarter.
On the third play of ETSU's next possession, Nick Perrotta intercepted a Nick Sexton pass and returned it 19 yards to push the lead to 21-13 by halftime.White then threw a 69-yard touchdown pass to Justin Sumpter in the first minute of the third quarter to stretch the lead to 28-13.
Defensive end Mason Harris was a standout with seven tackles, including three for loss, one sack, two quarterback hurries and one forced fumble.
ETSU is playing an FCS independent schedule under coach Carl Torbush and will play in the Southern Conference next year. Jaquan Stinson scored on a 12-yard run and J.J. Jerman kicked three field goals.