FCS football results: Samford stuns No. 6 Kennesaw State in Week 1 upset

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.— The Samford football team opened the 2022 season in exciting fashion when the Bulldogs defeated No. 6 Kennesaw State 27-17 at Seibert Stadium on Thursday night.

With the win, he takes Samford to 1-0 in the young season and 6-2 in the season opener under head coach Chris Hatcher. The win also marks the Bulldogs’ first win over a Top 25 opponent since No. 23 Mercer’s spring 2021 senior day win.

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“For the most part, we just kept playing and never panicked,” Hatcher said. “Overall, our guys just believed. It was just a complete team win over a really good football team and we’re excited to have this one under our belt.”

In his Samford debut, quarterback Michael Hiers completed 18 of 24 passes for 289 yards and four touchdowns. Kendall Watson caught nine passes for 187 yards and two touchdowns, a career high, while Chandler Smith had a pair of touchdowns and 67 yards on three receptions.

Jay Stanton led the Bulldogs on the ground with 16 carries for 90 yards.

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Following a punt by Samford on the opening drive of the game, Kennesaw State drove 80 yards in eight plays to take an early 7-0 lead when the Owls’ Presto Daniels scored from 26 yards with 8:55 remaining in the first frame.

The Owls led 7-0 after opening 15 minutes before Hiers found Watson for a game-tying 28-yard touchdown before the passing duo connected from six yards out to put Samford up 14-7. on the break.

Samford

In a running game, Kennesaw State took a 17-14 lead in the ever-important fourth quarter after splitting the studs on a 38-yard field goal and two-yard touchdown drop.

For the last 15 minutes, it was all Samford. Hiers found Smith for back-to-back touchdowns that put the Bulldogs up 27-14 with 3:10 remaining.

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Kourtlan Marsh sealed the upset victory with a game-winning interception in the end zone in KSU’s final series to preserve Bulldog’s 27-14 victory.

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