Panthers “Tremendous win”


DYLAN PADY, Sports Editor | [email protected]

For the UNI Panthers, the entire game against South Dakota State University on Saturday hinged on the outcome of a single play; the defense rose to the occasion  and took home the win.

It was fourth and one with only a minute and a half left; when a defensive stop by the Panthers ensured them the 10-7 win over South Dakota State.

“Tremendous win,” said head coach Mark Farley. “I’m very pleased with the type of win it was. It was a hard-fought, grind-it-out game against a very good football team.”

In the second quarter the Panther’s field goal unit came out and put the first points on the board with a 24-yard field goal to start the game, 3-0.

Following in the third, Aaron Bailey, quarterback and junior communications major, executed a 35-yard touchdown carry for what would be the final score, 10-7.

“We wanted to score a touchdown, take the momentum out of their hands and put it back in our hands,” Bailey said.

It was a much needed win for the Panthers, who now ended their three game losing streak following Saturdays game. Had they lost this game, any post-season possibilities would have been diminished.

“I think they were a No. 5, No. 6 football team at their home and on homecoming,” Farley said. “A huge statement about the mindset that our players came into this game with.”

Neither team had much going for them offensively in the beginning of the game until UNI stepped it up with their 92-yard drive for Michael Schmadeke’s field goal.

UNI’s defense came out with a total of 12 tackles for a loss, five of which the quarterback was sacked. The 12 tackles are good for third most all-time by the Panther defense while in addition only allowing 95 yards on 37 rushing attempts.

Next Saturday, the Panthers will defend their home turf against South Dakota with kickoff set for 1 p.m. South Dakota is currently 4-3 (2-2 in the conference) and coming off a decisive win against Missourri State, 40-10.