It took four Justin Thompson field goals and stout defense by Kennesaw State University to knock off Gardner-Webb University 12-7 on Oct. 17 at Fifth Third Bank Stadium.
The win was the Owls first Big South Conference win in their inaugural season.
The Owls defense allowed only 200 yards of offense, while KSU gained 353 yards on offense. KSU had a 6-0 lead going into halftime thanks to Thompson. He had a 30-yard field goal in the first quarter and a 33-yard field goal in the second quarter.
Thompson kicked a 26-yarder early in the fourth quarter.
The Owls were able to contain Gardner-Webb’s offense until the fourth quarter. With 5:33 left to play in the game, Gardner-Webb running back Josh Bettistea scored from one yard out, capping off a nine-play, 58-yard drive for the Bulldogs and cutting the score to 9-7.
The Owls responded with their own nine-play, 58-yard drive but could not get into the end zone. Thompson came in and kicked a 31-yard field goal to extend the lead to 12-9.
With less than a minute to play, Gardner-Webb’s offense tried to put a game-winning drive together. The Bulldogs got down to the 6-yard line with a first and goal.
The Owls defense kept the Bulldogs out of the end zone for three plays, and on fourth and goal defensive lineman Nick Perrotta picked off Gardner-Webb quarterback Tyrell Maxwell to seal the win for KSU.
Kennesaw State (5-1) will be back in action Oct. 24 at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. Game time is set for 7 p.m.