Panthers stung by Hornets, 37-21



Woo Governor (32) celebrates after a defensive stop while teammates celebrate in the background. Governor finished the game with eight tackles.

ADAM JOHNSON, Sports Writer

UNI got to play within the comforts of the UNI-Dome for the first time this season on Saturday, Sept. 17. The Panthers went into this game 0-2 and were looking to get their first win of the season against eighth-ranked Sacramento State. This was going to be no easy task for UNI, and Sacramento State ultimately proved too much for the Panthers, as they won this one 37-21.

Neither team could get anything going early, but Sacramento State looked to bring some offense to the table as they started their second drive of the game. A good mix of the run and pass game got the Hornets down to the UNI 18 yard line. Two plays later, UNI’s Spencer Cuvelier got a sack that put Sacramento State at third down and 12. Then, quarterback Jake Dunningway made a big completion to Pierre Williams to convert, and the Hornets made it into the endzone two plays later on a three yard rush by Asher O’Hara, putting the Hornets ahead 7-0.

Now it was UNI’s turn. A few good rushes by Vance McShane and great passing by Theo Day, had the Panthers moving down field with efficiency. Late in the drive, Day connected with tight end Alex Allen for a 24 yard completion to the Hornet 12 yard line. Two plays later Day found Allen again, who went up and made a spectacular catch in the end zone. The game was tied 7-7.

Sacramento State picked up right where they left off, scoring in seven plays, which ended with four straight completions by Dunningway, the last of which was a 21 yard touchdown to Marshel Martin. Soon after, O’Hara went in for his second touchdown of the day on a three yard rush, and the Hornets were up 21-7. UNI struggled to get anything going the rest of the half, as a fumble on one drive led to a field goal by the Hornets, which put them ahead 24-7. UNI had a couple more chances for points in the first half, but a missed field goal and a fumble in Hornets territory late in the half by Day, meant the Panthers would go into the half down 24-7.

The Panthers looked to make a huge comeback following halftime. Sacramento State got the ball first, but a big 11 yard sack by Jack Kriebs got the Panthers the ball quickly. UNI got started with good field position, and it took just six plays for Day to find Logan Wolf for a 24 yard touchdown. This put the score at 24-14. The Panther defense came up great again on the Hornets’ next drive, but following a punt, the offense would be pinned down at the seven yard line.