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April 18, 2024

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Football falls in first conference game of season

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The Falcons football team fell to the Akron Zips 34-23 Saturday night in their first Mid-American Conference game of the season, as the team still continues to search for their first win of the season.

“We can’t get out of our own way,” Falcons head coach Mike Jinks said. “A lot of that is confidence. We’ve just got to settle down, exhale, relax and play football.”

The game started with a short passing touchdown by Akron early in the first quarter, and they also converted on the extra point to go up 7-0. The Falcons responded not long after as they scored a touchdown on a run from sophomore running back Matt Domer. However, the extra point attempt was blocked, and Akron maintained the lead 7-6. Akron added to their advantage, connecting on a 43 yard touchdown pass, but like the Falcons touchdown, the extra point attempt was no good.

It was not until the second quarter that the next touchdown was scored, this time by a short run from Akron to take a 20-6 lead. The Falcons capitalized on their next possession, as sophomore quarterback James Morgan hit senior tight end Hunter Folkertsman for a touchdown pass, cutting the lead in half. Akron was still up 20-13 as the teams went into halftime.

The Falcons took the momentum to start the third quarter as Morgan passed to freshman running back Andrew Clair for a 26 yard touchdown to tie the game up. Junior kicker Jake Suder put the team ahead for the first time in the game with a field goal. However, Akron would not be down before the end of the quarter, as they retook the lead on a touchdown run of their own. With the Falcons looking to make a charge midway through the fourth quarter, Akron made it a two possession game on an interception return for a touchdown, which the Falcons never recovered from. Akron took the 34-23 victory.

“We had our chances offensively,” Jinks said. “Offensively, we gave up the game clinching score, not the defense.”

The team was also forced into a quarterback switch early in the game as starting freshman quarterback Jarret Doege came out of the game in the first quarter.

“It didn’t change the gameplan,” Jinks said. “I thought James (Morgan) came in, and up until the pick, did a fairly good job of executing the game plan and gave us a good chance to win.”

Jinks also said, “If you turn the ball over four times, you’re not going to win the football game. We were able to have a little bit of consistency with the run game, I thought our defense played well, especially with the cornerback group, they were a little bit shorthanded without Cameron Jeffries out there. … That group I really thought played well tonight.”

The team will next play Saturday afternoon on the road against the Miami RedHawks.  

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