KENT, Ohio — Friday night, the Kent State football team will be chasing history as they try to win the school’s first ever MAC Championship game in Detroit.
On Thursday, the Golden Flashes rode out of town but not before getting a grand send-off. Pomp and circumstance would be a great way to describe the MAC Center on Thursday morning.
“I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, what a great day to be at Kent State,” said Kent State University President Lester Lefton.
Fans from all over campus, Northeast Ohio and even Pennsylvania greeted the team by waving yellow towels and cheering loudly as the Golden Flashes walked into the MAC Center.
“I’m so happy for this school and I’m just so happy for these kids,” said Tom Strandburg of Kane, PA. “It’s real exciting.”
Kent State finished the regular season 11-1 and undefeated in the conference portion of their schedule. They will play in the school’s first ever MAC Football Championship game on Friday.
“I promise we are going to do everything we can to bring this MAC Championship back to Kent,” said Kent State quarterback Spencer Keith.
“We are going to Detroit to do something special,” added linebacker Luke Batton.
The Golden Flashes will face the defending MAC Champions, Northern Illinois.
“This game is about the extra inch that we have to find to make the play and that is all we talk about, do things a little bit better than we have done all year,” head coach Darrell Hazell said.
It’s hard to imagine that it’s been 40 years since the Kent State Football team last won a MAC Championship, what is even more surprising is that they are doing it in Darrell Hazell’s second year as head coach.
“You could tell Coach Hazell was a different person coming in, he came in with a plan and you can see his plan is working,” Zack Tilves, Kent State Asst. Director of Football Operations said.
“I think it is different for everybody, nobody expected this to happen,” said one Kent State student.
Kent State’s motto all season long has been “One Team, One Destiny.” That destiny is just 60 minutes away beginning Friday at 7 p.m. at Ford Field in Detroit.