Record-Courier staff report
Kent State's offense captured the right to wear the coveted blue home jerseys in practice this season by defeating the defense 39-26 in Saturday morning's annual Spring Jersey Scrimmage held at Dix Stadium.
The offense secured the victory on the final play of the scrimmage by producing its only touchdown, a 6-yard strike from sophomore quarterback Colin Reardon to junior wide receiver Josh Boyle.
"It's good for them to be able to see that they can move the football," said second-year KSU head coach Paul Haynes. "There are still a lot of things we have to do better on that side of the football, but it is also good for them to get a win under their belt."
The offense had to come from behind to seize the blue jerseys, doing so for the first time in two years. The defense held the lead for most of the scrimmage, jumping ahead early behind interceptions by sophomore safety Nate Holley and redshirt freshman safety Jake McVay, who is a former Aurora High School star.
"There were a lot of good things and a lot of things we have to work on," said Haynes. "I liked the enthusiasm on defense."
"They made a lot of plays. When you talk about (creating) turnovers, those were the things we didn't do very well last year. At least we got some today," Haynes said.
"On the flip side of that, we can't turn the ball over (on offense)," Haynes said.
Junior kicker/punter Anthony Melchiori, another former Aurora standout, booted a 40-yard field goal to give the offense the lead for good at 25-23. Melchiori was a perfect 2-for-2 on the day, adding a 37-yard kick, while sophomore Brad Miller connected from 32 yards out on his only field-goal attempt.
Kent State will hold its annual Spring Game next Saturday (April 26) at Dix Stadium. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m., and the event is free and open to the public.
"We'll finish out spring ball this week then play the Spring Game," said Haynes. "After that we'll tell the guys where they are at this point."