The Kennesaw State Owls football team made history on Saturday, facing Georgia Tech at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta. It’s the first time KSU faced a Power 5 school, and it was a rough day on The Flats at the Owls fell to the Yellow Jackets 45-17 and suffered their first loss of the year.
Georgia Tech (1-1) jumped to a 17-0 lead by the second quarter after quarterback Jordan Yates threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Mason early in the first and Jordan Domineck scored on a 70-yard return after a fumble recovery late in the quarter. The Owls (1-1) cut Tech’s lead to 14 late in the second with a Nathan Robertson 46-yard field goal (longest field goal in Owls history), but the Yellow Jackets answered on the ensuing drive with a Yates 16-yard touchdown pass to Kalani Norris to give them a 21-point lead going into the half.
Yates would throw two more touchdown passes in the second half to give Tech the 38-3 lead early in the fourth quarter. But KSU would not go down without a fight as Iaan Cousin scored on a 54-yard touchdown run early in the fourth to cut the lead to 28. The Owls would recover an onside kick following the score and would capitalize on the big play with a Xavier Shepherd 39-yard touchdown pass to Adeolu Adeleke to cut the lead to 21. However, the Yellow Jackets would end the game with a Donte Smith 10-yard touchdown run after the Owls fail to recover another onside kick.
“I was proud of our kids’ fight,” Owls coach Brian Bohannon, a former Georgia Tech assistant, said after the game. “We got behind and kept fighting and got a little momentum late in the game.” Shepherd finished the game with 111 passing yards, one touchdown, two interceptions and 21 rushing yards. KSU finished with 208 rushing yards, while the defense recorded three sacks.
The Owls will be back in action next week as they face Wofford in Spartanburg, South Carolina on Saturday, September 18 at 6 p.m. ET.