ETSU rallies to edge Kennesaw 32-31 in FCS 2nd round

Dec 4, 2021, 1:26 AM | Updated: 3:27 pm

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (AP) — Tyler Riddell found Nate Adkins on a crossing route in the back of the end zone for a 2-point conversion with 35 seconds to play to give seventh-seeded East Tennessee State a shocking 32-31 win over Kennesaw State on Saturday in the second round of the FCS playoffs.

Riddell threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Will Huzzie with 1:28 to play and Tim Stayskal recovered an onside kick on the Kennesaw 48. It took the Buccaneers 5 plays to score; a 4-yard pass from Riddell to Quay Holmes.

ETSU coach Randy Sanders didn’t hesitate in the decision to go for the win.

The Buccaneers (11-1) face second-seeded North Dakota State in the quarterfinals next weekend.

Riddell was 22 of 35 for 238 yards and three touchdowns. Holmes had seven receptions for 95 yards and two touchdowns and the Southern Conference Offensive MVP ran 13 times for 87 yards with a touchdown.

Jonathan Murphy came off the bench to throw for two touchdowns and run for two and Kennesaw State (11-2) was up 31-17 after a field goal with 5:02 to play.

Murphy replaced injured Big South Conference Offensive MVP Xavier Shepherd in the closing minute of the scoreless first quarter. Murphy was 6-of-14 passing for 125 yards and kept the ball 28 times for 164 yards.

Barely a minute after Riddell and Holmes connected on a 34-yard score midway through the first quarter, Murphy connected with Iaan Cousin for a 50-yard scoring play. The Buccaneers took a 10-7 halftime lead and opened the third quarter with a 31-yard touchdown run by Holmes. About 3 1/2 minutes later, Murphy dumped the ball over the middle to wide open Kyle Glover who rumbled 22-yards for a touchdown.

Murphy then scored on a 1-yard run late in the third and a 9-yard run early in the fourth.

___

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ETSU rallies to edge Kennesaw 32-31 in FCS 2nd round