MUNCIE, Ind. - Kent State's last-ditch drive fell short and so did the Golden Flashes against Ball State.
A week after giving up 17 unanswered points en route to a loss against last year's Mid-American Conference champion Northern Illinois, Kent State (2-5, 1-3) again surrendered a late lead before ultimately suffering a defeat.
This time, the Golden Flashes fell to the Cardinals (6-1, 3-0), 27-24, Saturday at Scheumann Stadium in Muncie, Ind.
Behind senior quarterback Keith Wenning, who threw for 305 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions on 23-of-46 attempts, Ball State rallied after trailing since the 9:22-minute mark of the fourth quarter.
Down 24-20 with a 1:29 to play in the contest, Wenning connected with junior wide receiver Willie Snead on fourth-and-five to move the Cardinals to 6-1 on the season and 3-0 in the MAC.
Kent State, which totaled 407 yards of total offense (their second-highest output this year), fell to 2-5 and 1-3 in conference play.
Golden Flashes freshman quarterback Colin Reardon was 19-of-24 for 166 passing yards, two touchdowns and one interceptions. His go-to target, junior wide receiver Chris Humphrey caught nine passes for 106 yards and one touchdown.
Kent State opened the game's scoring after sparingly-used junior running back Anthony Meray ran the ball in from 10 yards out to give the Golden Flashes a 7-0 lead with 5:19 left in the first quarter.
Ball State, though, would tie the game at a touchdown apiece after Wenning found Snead -- who totaled 152 yards and two touchdowns on ten receptions -- for a 39-yard strike with 1:46 to play before halftime.
Wenning and the Cardinals continued that offensive momentum early in the third quarter. The senior hit Javond Williams for a two-yard pass to take the lead, 14-7, with 12:46 left in the period.
After trading touchdowns, Kent State entered the fourth quarter down, 20-14, before seizing a one-point lead when Reardon hit Humphrey for a 28-yard pass with 9:22 to play. The Golden Flashes would tack on three more points with a 21-yard field goal from Brad Miller.
They would hold onto a 24-20 lead before the potent combination Wenning and Snead finally proved fatal.
Kent State is set to play South Alabama next Saturday at 3 p.m. at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala.