December 04, 20211st2nd3rd4thFinal
Kennesaw State07141031
2nd Quarter
ETSUTD07:25Quay Holmes 34 Yd Pass From Tyler Riddell (Tyler Keltner kick)
KSUTD06:17Cousin 50 Yd Pass From Murphy (Robertson kick)
ETSUFG03:27Tyler Keltner 47 Yd
3rd Quarter
ETSUTD11:45Quay Holmes 31 Yd Run (Tyler Keltner kick)
KSUTD08:19Glover 22 Yd Pass From Murphy (Robertson kick)
KSUTD01:05Murphy 1 Yd Run (Robertson kick)
4th Quarter
KSUTD12:21Murphy 9 Yd Run (Robertson kick)
KSUFG05:02Robertson 45 Yd
ETSUTD01:28Will Huzzie 12 Yd Pass From Tyler Riddell (Tyler Keltner kick)
ETSUTD00:35Quay Holmes 4 Yd Pass From Tyler Riddell
Stats at a GlanceKSUETSU
1st Downs2319
3rd Down Conversions10-174-11
4th Down Conversions0-11-1
Passing (Comp-Att)170 (10-19) 238 (22-35)
Rushing (Att)287 (56) 70 (26)
Total Yards457308
Fumbles Lost10
Bucs March into Quarterfinals Following Wild Finish
Bucs March into Quarterfinals Following Wild Finish
Saturday, December 4, 2021

ETSU converts two-point conversion to walk away with win

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Dec. 4, 2021) – For the fifth time this season, the ETSU Football team pulled off a fourth quarter comeback to snatch a victory from the jaws of defeat. This time it came on the biggest stage, the FCS Playoffs!

Trailing by two touchdowns with 1:28 left in the fourth quarter, the Bucs had the Owls right where they wanted. Tyler Riddell (Tampa, Fla.) dropped back in the pocket and delivered a 12-yard strike to Will Huzzie (Duluth, Ga.) to pull the Bucs within seven points, 31-24. The very next play bounced the Buccaneers way as Tyler Keltner (Tallahassee, Fla.) pulled off the perfect onside kick, recovered by Tim Stayskal (Nolensville, Tenn.). Five plays later, Riddell found Quay Holmes (Powder Springs, Ga.) in the back of the endzone for a four-yard touchdown to bring ETSU within one. Head Coach Randy Sanders opted to leave the offense on the field to go for the win, a decision that will live forever near the top of Buccaneer Football history. Riddell calmly dropped back in the pocket and found the sure hands of Nate Adkins (Knoxville, Tenn.) to put the Blue & Gold on top, 32-31. It was all but over after that with the Buccaneer defense stalling the Owls for the one-point, historic victory.

The offense delivered when it mattered most and was led by Holmes with 182 all-purpose yards, racking up 87 yards rushing and 95 yards receiving with three combined touchdowns. Adkins added a career game with seven receptions and 94 yards. In fact, the final two drives, Adkins hauled in five receptions for 71 yards and added the two-point conversion. Riddell concluded the game with 238 passing yards and three touchdowns, the third time this season that the Florida product has tossed three touchdowns.

The defensive unit was led by none other than Jared Folks (Harrisburg, Pa.) and Donovan Manuel (Ellenwood, Ga.) who combined for 28 tackles on the afternoon. Manuel also forced one fumble prior to the conclusion of the second half with Zach West (Boone, N.C.) coming up with the loose ball. West added a career high nine tackles as well.  

Second Quarter

  • ETSU 7, Kennesaw State 0: ETSU struck first in front of the home crowd with Tyler Riddell finding Quay Holmes with a screen pass that went the distance for a 34-yard strike.
  • ETSU 7, Kennesaw State 7: The Owls wasted no time, scoring in their next possession using just three plays. Kennesaw State’s Jonathan Murphy found Iaan Cousin for a 50-yard game-tying touchdown.
  • ETSU 10, Kennesaw State 7: The Bucs jumped back on top in their next possession as Tyler Keltner connected from 47 yards out, burying his 17th field goal of the season and taking solo second in program history with his 38th career field goal.

Third Quarter

  • ETSU 17, Kennesaw State 7: Quay Holmes found the endzone for the second time in the game, this time bouncing off tackles for a 31-yard rush to push the Bucs lead to double digits.
  • ETSU 17, Kennesaw State 14: The Owls responded with a 7-play, 88-yard drive to cut the ETSU lead back to three points after Murphy found Kyle Glover up the middle for a 22-yard touchdown pass.
  • Kennesaw State 21, ETSU 17: Kennesaw State took the lead late in the third quarter with another lengthy drive, this time with Murphy capping it off with a one-yard punch to put the Owls on top.

Fourth Quarter

  • Kennesaw State 28, ETSU 17: The Owls scored on their third consecutive drive, putting up 21 unanswered points to extend their lead to 28-17 after Murphy’s nine-yard touchdown punch.
  • Kennesaw State 31, ETSU 17: Kennesaw State recorded a fourth consecutive scoring drive, this time in the form of a 45-yard field goal from Nathan Robertson with 5:02 remaining in the game.
  • Kennesaw State 31, ETSU 24: The Bucs closed the gap to one possession after Tyler Riddell found Will Huzzie in the back of the endzone for the 12-yard touchdown.
  • ETSU 32, Kennesaw State 31: The comeback was complete with 35 seconds remaining in the contest after Riddell tossed a four-yard touchdown to Holmes and polished it off with successful a two-point conversion to Nate Adkins.


  • With the triumph, the Bucs earned their 11th win of the season, marking a new program record for wins in a single season.
  • The Bucs picked up their first playoff win since 1996 when ETSU handed Villanova a 35-29 defeat in Johnson City, Tenn. – ETSU improves to 3-2 in the playoffs in program history.
  • ETSU successfully recovered its first onside kick since Oct. 20, 2018 – improving to 1-for-2 this year in attempts – the Bucs are now 2-for-4 in onside kicks since the return of football.
  • Tyler Riddell added three touchdowns to his credit this season, moving into a tie for second with Greg Ryan for passing touchdowns in a single season with 19.
  • Will Huzzie passed Anthony Stringfield for 8th on the all-time career receiving list with his 104th career reception.
  • Huzzie has now passed both Corey Martin and B.J. Adijun for the 8th-most receptions in a single season, while passing Lamar Cooper for the 10th-most receiving yards in a single season.
  • The Bucs tallied 308 yards of offense, officially setting a new school record for yards in a single season with 5,154 – the previous mark was 5,041 held by the 1996 team.
  • The Blue & Gold also set a new single-season record with their 53rd touchdown of the season, passing the previous record of 52 set in 1996.
  • Quay Holmes recorded a career-best two receiving touchdowns, while teammate Nate Adkins hauled in a career-high seven catches for a career-best 94 yards.
  • Tyler Keltner moved into solo second for career field goals made with his 38th field goal – a 47-yard field goal in the second quarter.
  • The Owls won the yardage battle, 457-308, and dominated in the time of possession – 35:00 – 25:00.
  • Kennesaw State also finished 10-of-17 in third-down conversions while the Bucs concluded the game 4-for-11.

The Bucs will travel to Fargo, N.D. to take on North Dakota State in the FCS Quarterfinals. No kickoff time or date for the game has officially been set.

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