By Chris Raimondi, Sports Editor
Strong running teams typically yield explosive plays in the passing game. So was the case Saturday in Kennesaw State’s 56-17 rout of Point University.
The Owls entered the game ranked fourth in the nation in rushing offense, averaging 324 yards per game. KSU rushed for more than 230 yards in every contest up to Saturday’s homecoming game, and the team reached the 300 yard mark in three of its four outings.
Nothing changed in the run game against Point, as KSU posted 391 rushing yards and scored five touchdowns on the ground.
Amidst all of the scoring, however, quarterback Trey White still found time to flex his arm.
The first three touchdowns of the game were all scored through the air, and the Owls jumped out to a 21-0 lead with 8:31 to go in the second quarter. KSU went into the half with 208 passing yards, which was more than the Owls posted in any single game.
“We know it’s something we have to be able to do,” KSU head coach Brian Bohannon said of his team’s passing attack. “With our team, the way it is right now, it’s an asset. We have to be able to use it, but we have to be smart how we do it.”
The Owls established a trend of taking long shots down the field early through the first three games. Wide receiver Justin Sumpter typically served as the target in those situations, once scoring on KSU’s first play of the game against Edward Waters.
Saturday, however, White took aim at his A-backs. Darnell Holland and Chaston Bennett hauled in touchdown passes of 43 and 69 yards, respectively, coming out of the backfield.
“Any time you can be successful in the passing game, especially in a game, it definitely helps your confidence,” White said. “I don’t think I really lack confidence much of the time. We have great players and I have to keep getting the ball in their hands.”
White finished 9-of-14 for 239 yards and three touchdowns.
Bennett and Holland each entered the game with just one reception all season. They combined for five catches and 174 yards against the Skyhawks.
Sumpter caught his first pass since going for 121 yards against Shorter Sept. 19 when he picked a 19-yard throw out of the air for a touchdown in the second quarter. He finished with two receptions for 24 yards.
“We know we have some talented guys in the passing game,” Bohannon said. “We threw for 308 yards. It doesn’t get much better than that for a running football team.”
KSU hosts its first Big South Conference game against Gardner-Webb Saturday Oct. 17. The Runnin’ Bulldogs are ranked 15th in passing yards allowed with 167 per game and 34th in rushing defense, allowing 136 yards per game.