[Maria Monesi | WOUB]

Ohio rolls past Kent State in dominant 42-17 Homecoming weekend win

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) – Ohio football returned to Peden Stadium with a bang knocking off Kent State 42-17 on Homecoming weekend.

The Bobcats came into Saturday seeking a 2-0 start to Mid-American Conference play for the first time since 2016.  

“Those types of stats and data are going to keep coming in” head coach Tim Albin said. “The bullseye is going to keep getting bigger. We’re going to embrace it. We’re going to accept it.” 

Ohio had a sluggish start to the game and was unable to find its rhythm in the opening quarter. In the first the Bobcats only had 53 total yards, and quarterback Kurtis Rourke was 3-7 with 27 yards.  

Ohio’s defense picked up the slack conceding only 41 yards and recording three sacks.  

To begin the second quarter, the Bobcats’ air attack began to click. Wide receiver Miles Cross set the tone catching the first touchdown of the game. Cross had 84 of his 125 yards in the second quarter, a much-needed performance for Ohio after losing star wide-out Jacoby Jones for the season.  

Miles Cross catches a pass from Kurtis Rourke
Miles Cross (19) catches a pass from Kurtis Rourke [Conor Mallonn | WOUB]
“Like what my coaches always say next man up.” Cross said. “So, we just did our best to fill that role for Jacoby today.” 

Shortly after Ohio took a 7-0 lead, Kent State responded with a quick drive. Golden Flashes’ quarterback Michael Alaimo unleashed a 42-yard touchdown to Chrishon McCray.  

Midway through the second, the game was tied at seven. After a short punt from Kent State, Ohio took over in plus territory at the Kent State 43-yard line. 

On the ensuing drive, Rourke tossed the ball to Sam Wiglusz who hauled it in on top of the goal line. The catch was initially ruled incomplete, however, after review it was overturned and called a touchdown.  

Rourke capped off a 21-point second quarter with a four-yard scamper to the endzone. Heading into the halftime break, Ohio lead 21-7.  

Kent State knocked through a 37-yard field goal to begin the second half, before the Bobcats went on another scoring surge.  

Cross caught his second touchdown of the afternoon capping a three-minute 90-yard drive. Then, running back Sieh Bangura punched in back-to-back three-yard touchdowns to extend the Ohio lead, 42-10.  

Coming into Saturday, Bangura had not scored a rushing touchdown this season.  

“I felt like I was out of the endzone for so long,” Bangura said. “It was just like, I’m hungry, I want to get in there, I want to help the team, I put points on the board for the team.” 

Kent State added a final touchdown in the final minutes of the fourth quarter. 

Ohio will travel to Dekalb, Illinois to take on Northern Illinois on Oct. 14.