Zips Drop Close One to Troy, 22-17

By: Deontae Shahid

The Akron Zips were on the road this weekend to face off against the Troy Trojans. The Zips came into the game a 15.5-point underdog and were looking to pull off the upset. The Zips covered the spread but were unable to knock off the Trojans losing 22-17.

The Trojans fumbled on their first drive of the game which was recovered by the Zips. Akron turned the turnover into three points and looked to continue to play well in the beginning of the game.

The following drive for the Trojans would result in a touchdown after they picked up a key fourth down conversion that could have kept the pendulum swinging in favor of Akron. Troy would drive down the field again with the help from some Akron pass interference penalties to kick a field goal and put them up 10-3.

Troy would score another touchdown in the first half but miss the point after. Akron had a couple of chances to put more points on the board but would hurt themselves in two separate occasions.

Thomas Woodson threw an interception in the end zone while in Troy’s red zone. On the final drive before halftime, the Zips were in position to score again. After a holding penalty stalled their offense on the Troy seven-yard line, Tom O’Leary would miss a field goal with the time expiring to end the half causing for the Zips to go into halftime down 16-3.

The Zips continued to let red zone opportunities go to waste in the second half of the game. The Zips first possession of the second half resulted in a Woodson fumble after they drove all the way down to the Troy 19-yard line.

Akron would score a touchdown on their next drive after the Zips defense forced a turnover on downs. Woodson hit Kwadarrius Smith for a 29-yard touchdown pass putting the score at 16-10. Woodson and Smith would later connect on a 42-yard pass on a crucial third and long. Warren Ball would find the end zone on a 4-yard run on fourth down to put Akron up 17-16.

Late in the game, Troy would drive all the way from their three-yard line to score a touchdown with a minute and six seconds left to play. Troy failed to convert the two-point conversion giving the Zips a chance to win with a touchdown but sealed the game after a Woodson interception.

Akron was not able to capitalize on penalties by Troy who had 16 penalties for 159 yards in the game. The Zips had 12 penalties of their own for 100 yards continuing their penalty problems on the season.

Ball played well rushing for 112 yards and a touchdown. Woodson completed 20 of 40 passes for 268 yards, with one touchdown and 2 interceptions. Smith caught four receptions for 103 yards and a touchdown in the second half.

The Zips dropped to 1-3 on the season so far. The Zips will start their Mid-American Conference play against the Bowling Green Falcons on Saturday, September 30th at 6:00 p.m.

Zips Embarrassed by Cyclones, Fall to Iowa State 41-14

Written by: Peter Palmer, WZIP Sports

The Akron Zips looked to improve their record this week to 2-1 while hosting the Iowa State Cyclones. The sun was beating down for a good day of football, but the weather soon turned cloudy which seemed to be the story for the Zips.

The Zips were held scoreless in the first quarter, being forced to punt their first three possessions and producing only 34 total yards. Meanwhile, Iowa State was quick to attack and took the lead 14-0 behind a 7-yard reception to Allen Lazard and a 1-yard carry by Mike Warren.

The momentum began to shift when Thomas Woodson hit Kwadarrius Smith in stride for a 45-yard touchdown pass halfway through the second quarter. Woodson started to heat up, completing 12-16 for 154 yards and 2 touchdowns in the second quarter alone. Unfortunately, a costly fumble led the Cyclones to maintain a 20-14 lead going into the half.

Akron couldn’t continue with its momentum as things started to fall apart in the second half. On the offensive side, Woodson wasn’t able to find a rhythm, threw an interception in the third quarter and didn’t produce any points before he was relieved by Kato Nelson who threw an interception of his own.

All day, Warren Ball wasn’t able to continue his offensive dominance that he showed last week against Arkansas-Pine Bluff. This was true of all the rushers on the day, with Akron only having 38 rushing yards on the day.

The defensive side was a similar story. Aside from the two offensive turnovers giving the Cyclones good field position, Iowa State had an impressive 508 total yards resulting in 41 points on the day. Akron will need to regroup and improve their defensive coverage before next week’s game. The Zips fall to Iowa State 41-14 and become 1-2 on the season.

Next week, Akron will be tested again as they travel to face the Troy Trojans on the road. Kickoff is set for 6 PM on Saturday, September 23rd. This will be the first of two road games before the Zips come back to play in Infocision Stadium.

Offensive MVP: Leading the Zips in yards was Kwadarrius Smith, who was responsible for one of the two Akron touchdowns on the day. Despite only having three receptions, he was able to run for 76 yards on the day.


Defensive MVP: Continuing his high level of defense from last week, Ulysees Glibert led the Zips in tackles with 12. For a team that gave up 508 total yards to the Cyclones, Gilbert was able to mildly weather the storm. Hopefully he continues to show up for the Zips throughout the season.

PorchRokr Festival 2017

Highland Square has always been renowned for its role as a home for Akron’s local arts and music scene. In addition to music venues and tons of events geared toward the community, Highland Square hosts the PorchRokr festival every year. The PorchRokr festival is exactly what it sounds like: all over the neighborhood, people open their porches for local musicians to use as stages. From each street come melodies, applause, and vendors serving an audience.

This year, the annual music festival hosted nearly 130 bands that ranged in genres from folk to jazz to celtic music to “electric soul”. Vendors selling food and artisanal products lined the streets, for people to enjoy while listening to local artists.

We spoke with some of the bands who performed at the PorchRokr festival this year. One such band was Modem, a punk rock band from Kent.

Following their heavy, energetic, entertaining set, we had a chance to speak with the band. This was their first time performing at the Porchrokr Festival.

They told us, “This is awesome because there’s a lot of people who don’t go out and see shows… it’s really diverse”

Much like many of the other bands, as well as fans, they said that the PorchRokr festival was an awesome time. We also spoke to Axon-Neuron, a progressive rock band from Akron. They told us about their inspirations, and their experience playing at the PorchRokr Festival for the past three years. As a six-peice band, all of which are professionals, they boast an interesting blend of jazz, metal, and elements of classical music. They told us, “At Porch Rockr, anyone can wander by and check out the music and be exposed to something they wouldn’t have otherwise thought to try.” This was an aspect of the festival that they enjoyed.
For the past six years, neighbors have offered their porches to Akron’s diverse music scene and an event that has become a summer highlight for many people. The PorchRokr Festival acts as an opportunity for locals, vendors, restaurants, musicians, and anybody with anything to offer, to open their doors and celebrate Highland Square.

Ball Breaks Out in 52-3 Win Over Golden Lions

Following a 52-0 throttling at the hands of Penn State last week in Happy Valley, the Zips looked to rebound this Saturday in their home opener against the Arkansas Pine Bluff Golden Lions.

Warren Ball, who had missed almost all of last year after suffering an injury in the opener against Wisconsin, got the Zips offense off to a lightning fast start. Right after ripping off a 21-yard gain, Ball once again bounced off would-be tacklers on his way to a 12-yard touchdown run to make it 7-0 Zips.

The Akron defense, who was at the mercy of Penn State’s offense last week, asserted itself early in this one with 2 quick 3 and outs. The latter would help set up good field position for the Zips, as quarterback Thomas Woodson would find AJ Coney for a 15-yard strike to make it 14-0 Zips.

Ulysees Gilbert, who was a non-factor last week, made his presence known in this one. Early in the 2nd quarter, Gilbert picked off Golden Lions quarterback Brandon Duncan and took it 30 yards back to the house for a Zips touchdown. Warren Ball would also add another touchdown run, this time from just 8 yards out. The Zips would dominate the rest of the way in the first half, carrying a 31-3 lead at halftime.

The second half would play out like the first as it was all Zips. In the 3rd quarter, Akron would receive more insurance from their running backs. Warren Ball would cap off his day with another 8-yard scoring plunge, and Van Edwards (who came in to replace Ball) would also scamper in from 12-yards out for a score. The defense would continue to give Pine Bluff fits as Akron held a 45-3 lead after 3.

In the 4th and final frame it would be Deltron Sands finding the end zone for the Zips as he ran it in for a score from just 1-yard out. This would cap the scoring for the evening as the Zips would go on to win 52-3.

The Zips outmatched Pine Bluff in every facet, as expected. Akron took care of business as heavy favorites, outgaining the Golden Lions 464-168 in total yards. The Akron run defense, which was outside of the top 100 last year, held Pine Bluff to just 47 yards on the ground. Quarterback Brandon Duncan was also flushed out of the pocket all day and could not establish any sort of rhythm. He would finish with 12-23 passing for 105 yards and 2 interceptions.

Thomas Woodson, after really struggling last week in Happy Valley, had a much better performance this time around. He would go 15-21 passing 166 yards and one touchdown before backups Kato Nelson and Robbie Kelley came on to relieve him.

The Zips will be back home in action next Saturday when they host the Big 12’s Iowa State. Kickoff is set for 12 PM at Infocision Stadium. The team will be honoring Jason Taylor’s admission into the NFL Hall of Fame.

Offensive MVP: Warren Ball- 20 carries for 146 yards and 3 touchdowns. Ball found running lanes early and often and never slowed down. It was his first multi-touchdown game as an Akron Zip.

Defensive MVP: Ulysees Gilbert- 10 tackles, one of those for a loss, and one interception that turned into a pick six. Gilbert is expected to really anchor the defense this year so this is a promising performance from him after a quiet week last Saturday at Penn State.