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Samford Falls in First Round

By Robbie Ross
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The Bulldogs fall 28-17 in the opening round of the FCS playoffs.

Samford’s season came to an end at the hands of the team that they defeated to open the 2017 season.  Kennesaw State, of the Big South, playing just their third year of football, defeated the Bulldogs 28-17 behind a strong running game, timely passing game and an opportunistic defense.

The Owls' triple-option offense rushed for 329 yards, quarterback Chandler Burks completed just five passes but two went for touchdowns and Akebran Ralls returned an interception 55 yards for a touchdown. 

Samford was led by SoCon Offensive Player of the Year Devlin Hodges as they have been all season. Hodges threw for 396 yards on 39 completions out of 66 attempts, with one touchdown and an interception. The Bulldogs were held to just 58 yards on the ground, paced by Roland Adams with 21 yards and a score. Chris Shelling led the Bulldogs with 12 receptions for 186 yards and a touchdown. Samford's All-SoCon receiver Kelvin McKnight was held in check on the day, catching only seven passes for 49 yards.

With the win, Kennesaw State advances to take on #3 seed Jacksonville State in the second round next Saturday. Samford’s season ends at 8-4 and a loss in the first round of the playoffs for the second consecutive season.

Robbie Ross - Robbie Ross is Southern Pigskin's lead SoCon writer. A 19-year veteran of the Furman Radio Network, Ross also spent time with the Georgia State Radio Network prior to his ventures with Southern Pigskin. He is a voter in the STATS FCS Top 25 Poll.