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The student news site of the University of Northern Iowa

Northern Iowan

The student news site of the University of Northern Iowa

Northern Iowan

UNI levels Leathernecks 50-6

Quarterback+Theo+Day+had+a+great+game+with+two+passing+touchdowns+and+a+75%25+completion+rating.+The+Panthers+defeated+Western+Illinois+by+44+points+with+a+score+of+50-6.
UNI ATHLETICS
Quarterback Theo Day had a great game with two passing touchdowns and a 75% completion rating. The Panthers defeated Western Illinois by 44 points with a score of 50-6.

The Panther football team welcomed Western Illinois on Saturday for their ninth game of the season. 

The Panthers started with the ball and wasted no time. Quarterback Theo Day found Sam Schnee for a 28-yard gain down to the Leathernecks 37-yard line. One play later, Day found Sergio Morancy over the middle for a touchdown to make it 7-0 Panthers early in the first quarter. 

The Panthers forced a three-and-out on their first defensive possession. On their next offensive possession, Day found Jaiden Ellis-Lahey for a big gain, but the Leathernecks defense forced a fumble and recovered the football. 

Soon after, the Panther defense got the football right back. Tucker Langenberg forced a fumble and Caden Houghtelling recovered it, setting the Panther offense up at the Leathernecks 6-yard line. On the first play after the turnover, running back Amauri Pesek-Hickson punched it in to make it 14-0 Panthers with 8:29 to go in the first quarter. 

On the Leathernecks next offensive possession, they completed a big gain down to the Panthers 47-yard line. However, three plays later they punted it back to the Panther offense. 

Three plays after getting the ball back, Day found Logan Wolf over the middle for a gain of 40 yards down to the Leathernecks 4-yard line. Day capped off the drive by finding Alex Allen for a 2-yard touchdown to make it 21-0 with 1:27 to go in the first quarter. 

The Leathernecks offense stalled once again, forcing them to punt. The punter fumbled the snap into the back of the end zone resulting in a safety, extending the Panthers lead to 23-0. 

After the safety, the Panther offense continued to drive down the field. Day found Morancy for a gain of 21 yards down to the Leathernecks 25-yard line. On the following play, Day found Schnee for a gain of 12 yards down to the 13-yard line. Pesek-Hickson finished off the drive with a 2-yard touchdown run to make it 30-0 Panthers with 10:13 to go in the second quarter.

Kicker Matthew Cook celebrates on the sidelines. Cook became the all-time leading scorer for the Panthers with 385 points. (UNI ATHLETICS)

 On the Leathernecks next offensive possession, the Panther defense forced another three-and-out. Running back Tye Edwards had a phenomenal drive, rushing for 56yards on eight carries. The Panthers got down to the Leathernecks 1-yard line, but couldn’t get in the endzone. They settled for a Matthew Cook 22-yard field goal to make it 33-0 with 3:05 to go in the second quarter. 

On the Leathernecks first offensive possession to start the second half, Langenberg forced an interception. On the first play back on offense for the Panthers, Edwards rushed for a 29-yard touchdown to make it 40-0 Panthers with 12:52 to go in the third quarter. 

On their next offensive possession, the Leathernecks offense forced a fourth-down-and-six. The Panther defense got to the quarterback for a sack, awarding them the ball back at the Leatherneck 30-yard line. 

Panthers backup quarterback Aidan Dunne saw some action in the second half. On the fourth play after getting the ball back, Dunne found Brady McCullough for a 14-yard touchdown to make it 47-0 Panthers with 7:54 to go in the third quarter. 

Towards the end of the third quarter, Dunne found Derek Anderson for a gain of 20 yards down to the 37-yard line. Dunne followed that up with a 12-yard run down to the 49-yard line. Panther running back Josh Jenkins propelled the offense into Leatherneck territory with three runs for 18 yards. Facing a third-and five, Dunne rushed up the middle for a gain of eight yards down to the Leathernecks 33-yard line. The Panther offense ended up settling for a Cook 28-yard field goal to make it 50-0 Panthers with 11:05 to go in the fourth quarter. 

The Leathernecks were able to score in garbage time on their final drive of the game to make it 50-6 to conclude the wild win for the Panthers.

The Panthers improve to 6-3 on the season with a conference record of 5-1. They travel to Springfield on Saturday to take on the Missouri State Bears. Congratulations to Panthers kicker Matthew Cook, as he became Northern Iowa Football’s all-time leading scorer with 385 points.

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MICHAEL SPAHN, Sports Writer

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