Central State rallies in second half but suffers third straight loss

Quarterback change provides spark, but Marauders still lose to Allen University

Credit: David Jablonski

Credit: David Jablonski

WILBERFORCE — One play changed his whole postgame assessment.

“I was dreamin’ of being the hero and instead I became ... aaah ... I don’t even know what to call it… Almost a zero. Or at least not the hero,” Central State quarterback Kendall Boney said as he stood in the Marauders locker room following CSU’s heartbreaking 34-28 loss to Allen University at McPherson Stadium on Saturday.

For most of the second half, Boney was his team’s surprise hero.

Listed as third string on the depth chart at the start of the game and barely used in the first three games this season (he had completed two passes for 19 yards), the redshirt sophomore was called off the bench at halftime after CSU’s other two quarterbacks — starter Alec Lewis and last year’s starter Brandon Kyles — struggled in the first two quarters.

The Marauders trailed 28-15 at halftime.

That’s when Boney said he was approached by CSU offensive coordinator Buddy Blevins.

“He said they were going to switch it up in the second half and I knew I just had to go in there and handle business and get a drive going,” Boney said. ““Every week I prepare myself as if I’m going to play — even when I don’t — but today it felt like I got a fresh drink of water. I needed that.”

At the time, so did the team.

On Central State’s first possession of the third quarter, Boney orchestrated a nine-play, 68-yard drive that he capped off with a 30-yard touchdown pass over the middle to running back Kas Dina. With the extra point by Jose Chaires, CSU trailed 28-21.

Central State opened the fourth quarter with a four-play, 80-yard drive that culminated with Boney’s 43-yard bomb to receiver Jeremiah Flores, who made a twisting catch in the endzone for the score that helped tie the game, 21-21

Allen promptly scored on the next possession, but CSU blocked the point after.

The Yellow Jackets seemed like they were about to ice the game when they got the ball again, but CSU’s 320-pound defensive lineman Jaden Perkins intercepted an ill-advised pass and the Marauders had the ball at their own 31 with 1:20 left to play.

A score and an extra point would win the game, but three plays into the drive, Boney found himself under duress and threw an ill-timed pass that Allen safety Dahlil Wilkins intercepted. He scored on the return, but the TD was nullified when he was penalized for showboating on his run to the endzone. The Yellow Jackets still retained possession, and a play later, time ran out.

“I got a little big-headed from my plays before and tried to do too much on that interception,” said Boney who finished with 92 passing yards and 53 rushing. “I should have played team ball there.”

Allen is now 4-0. The loss dropped CSU to 1-3 and has put the quarterback job up for grabs, said Marauders head coach Kevin Porter after the game:

“All three will be competing for playing time,” he said. “and we’ll see who steps up in practice this week. We’re looking for someone to be consistent back there.”

In other words, CSU is still looking for a quarterback hero.

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