Panthers blowout Utah Tech, 41-14

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  • Spencer Cuvelier (41) records a sack on Saturday, Cuvelier finished with a team-best eight tackles.

  • Sam Schnee (23) had a standout game on Saturday, catching five passes for 143 yards and a touchdown during UNI’s 41-14 win over Utah Tech.

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CADEN SHEA, Sports Editor

The UNI-Dome was rocking this weekend as the Panthers had an exceptional offensive performance against the Utah Tech Trailblazers. This was the first ever meeting of the two teams and the Panthers made sure to make an intimidating first impression. The Panthers kept a steady hold on the flow of the game for the entirety of regulation and improved to 3-4 after their victory. The Panthers looked cool and comfortable as they made it known to the Trailblazers whose house it was with a 41-14 victory. 

The Panthers started rolling right out the gate. Their first drive consisted of five plays and ended with a 44-yard pass from quarterback Theo Day to wide receiver Sergio Morancy for an early Panther touchdown. The Panthers ended the first quarter with 10 points thanks to a 42-yard field goal by Matthew Cook, giving them a 10-0 advantage over the Trailblazers heading into the second quarter. 

The defense started mounting even more momentum as defensive back Benny Sapp III obtained his third interception of the year that led directly into a 9-yard rushing touchdown by running back Dom Williams. The defense kept the highlight reel going with yet another interception in this quarter, this one by defensive back Edwin Dearman, giving him the first pick of his collegiate career. This helped the Panthers gain an additional three points off of a 19-yard field goal from Cook to give them an even firmer lead of 20-0 on Utah Tech. The Trailblazers would not go quietly as they answered back with a scoring drive of their own to give them their first seven points of the game. The Panthers were not going to let that phase them, however, as they retorted with two touchdown scoring drives to conclude the first half. Day connected with Desmond Hutson for the first hit of the one-two punch, with Sam Schnee concluding it. This barrage of offense managed to give the Panthers a commanding upper hand with a score of 34-7 going into the final half of play. 

The Panthers slowed down the pace a little in the second half. They pushed the ball down the field consistently to continue the punishment for the Trailblazers. The Panthers would score on their opening possession of the half. Day would bully his way into the end zone for a 1-yard touchdown after a meticulous 65-yard drive. This gave the Panthers a 41-7 edge over Utah Tech that would be consistent until the final quarter. 

The Trailblazers were the lone scorers in the fourth quarter. They connected on a pass that would ultimately conclude the scoring of the game, capping a statement win for the Panthers with a score of 41-14. This was one of UNI’s most dominant games of the year and showcased their potential as legitimate competitors in the FCS.

Day would have one of his best games with the Panthers with the second most passing yards of his career with 308 and a career-high four total touchdowns. Williams kept up his impressive ground attacks with a total of 92 yards today while also notching another touchdown to his stats. Cook would continue his march in UNI history with this game with 61 career field goals made, the third most in the Panthers history. Schnee also had a monumental performance with a touchdown as well as a career-best 143 receiving yards. Linebacker Spencer Cuvelier continued his spectacular season with eight tackles and a sack. The defensive backs also had a great game on Saturday as Woo Governor had seven tackles and Korby Sander had an impressive sack. 

The Panthers conclude their four-game home streak next week against the Missouri State Bears in conference action. The game will take place at 4 p.m. on Saturday and will have a theme of purple out for those in attendance.