Kennesaw State wins its home opener, defeating Wofford

After beginning its season with two road losses, Kennesaw State hosted Wofford for their home opener Saturday night and held off a late flourish by the Terriers to eke out a 24-22 victory.

The Owls (1-2) took a 24-9 lead early in the fourth quarter before Wofford added two touchdowns. The game ended on a sack by Kennesaw State’s Joel Parker at the KSU 43 as time expired. Wofford began that drive at its 18-yard line with 1:35 to play and no timeouts.

“This was a huge win,” Kennesaw State coach Brian Bohannon said. “It was not perfect, but I think we grew up tonight. I’m proud of our kids, proud of our fight.”

The teams combined for 721 yards of offense, led by Wofford’s 358 yards passing. Wofford quarterback Jimmy Weirick passed for all 358 yards, completing 25 of 39 attempts and threw for one touchdown and was intercepted twice. The Owls ran for 221 yards and passed for 107. KSU quarterback Jonathan Murphy, making his first start of the season, rushed for 138 yards on 28 carries and two touchdowns, and he was 11-for-14 passing for 107 yards.

Wofford receiver Landon Parker caught six passes for 155 yards. Included in those totals were receptions of 68 and 48 yards.

The teams each committed two turnovers. Kennesaw State safeties Markeith Montgomery and Deontre Morris each picked off a pass. Montgomery returned his interception 78 yards for a touchdown that gave the Owls a 14-6 lead. It was the longest interception return in program history and was Montgomery’s six for his career, the third most in school history.

Morris and William Jenkins led KSU in tackles with seven apiece, each setting a career high.

The first play from scrimmage in the game was a 47-yard completion by Wierick to Rickie Shaw. That play set the tone for a quick four-play, 76-yard drive to put the Terriers up 6-0 after a missed extra-point attempt – and set the tone for a night of lots of passing for Wofford (0-4).

The Owls were coming off losses to Samford 27-17 and Cincinnati 63-10. Next comes a game at Jacksonville State at 2 p.m. Saturday.