Kennesaw State loses lead late for second-round elimination in FCS playoffs

Kennesaw State’s time in the FCS playoffs ended Saturday with a 32-31 second-round loss to East Tennessee State in Johnson City, Tenn.

The Owls (11-2) took a 21-17 lead into the fourth quarter and led 31-17 inside two minutes to play in the game, but East Tennessee State (11-1) cut into that KSU lead with a 12-yard touchdown pass from Tyler Riddell to Will Huzzie with 1:28 to play and a 4-yard pass from Riddell to Quay Holmes with 35 seconds remaining. After that second touchdown, East Tennessee State succeeded on a two-point conversion pass from Riddell to Nate Adkins for a 32-31 lead.

Kennesaw State quarterback Jonathan Murphy rushed for 164 yards on 28 carries, including two touchdowns, and he threw two touchdown passes – for 50 yards to Iaan Cousin and for 22 yards to Kyle Glover.

The Owls entered the game on a 10-game win streak, the second longest in program history.

One significant moment came when Kennesaw State senior linebacker Evan Thompson became the Owls’ single-season leader in tackles. Thompson recorded 11 on Saturday, giving him 117 on the season. He passed Bryson Armstrong (114) to set the school record.