KSU Blanks North Carolina A&T, Wins 4th Straight Game

Kennesaw State Owls quarterback Xavier Shepherd scored two touchdowns and the defense allowed just 207 total yards en route to a 14-0 win over North Carolina A&T on Saturday night at Fifth Third Bank Stadium. It was KSU’s first shutout of the year and second of 2021 as the Owls blanked Robert Morris 35-0 in the spring season.

Shepherd finished with 66 rushing yards and 129 passing yards, which is the most of his career. He got the Owls on the board midway through the second quarter, scoring on a 3-yard run which ended a 10-play, 80-yard drive. He scored again late in the third on a 1-yard run.

The Owls (5-1, 2-0) had a balanced attack on offense in the first half, recording 99 rushing yards and 88 passing yards. But three turnovers prevented them from having a larger lead against North Carolina A&T (3-3, 2-1). The first turnover occurred on the opening drive when quarterback Shepherd fumbled on the option pitch. The second turnover came late in the second quarter when Shepherd fumbled on a pitch again. And the third came on the Owls’ next drive in the quarter when Shepherd threw an interception to North Carolina A&T defensive lineman Henry Daniel.

The Owls defense just surrendered 31 rushing yards and also blocked a punt. Linebacker Evan Thompson finished with 12 tackles and one quarterback hit while linebacker Garland Benyard posted five tackles and one pass breakup. Before the game, the Owls ranked 16th in the FCS in total defense and 26th in rushing defense.

A record-breaking crowd saw the Owls in action on Saturday night as 9,556 attended the homecoming game, the most in school history. 3,097 students at the game, which is a program record at Fifth Third Bank Stadium. The Owls have now won their last four games and have yet to be beaten by an FCS team this season. They will be back on the road next Saturday, Oct. 23 to take on the Campbell Camels in a Big South matchup.

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