Youngstown falls to Panthers, 19-14

Navigate Left
Navigate Right
Navigate Left
Navigate Right

WILLIAM RIEPE, Sports Writer

The Panthers battled Youngstown State this weekend at the UNI-Dome, putting together their best defensive performance of the year and coming out on top, with a final score of 19-14. This came after two clutch short range field goals from Sam Drysdale and two second quarter touchdown rushes by Marcus Weymiller.

Weymiller gained 133 yards on 29 carries as well as two touchdowns. Weymiller was coming off of a 177-yard performance last week. Weymiller’s presence in the backfield has given the offense a well needed consistency in the running game.

Daurice Fountain enjoyed another week grabbing 100 yards on three catches. Fountain has proved to be Eli Dunne’s favorite target as he leads the team this season with 39 receptions, 625 yards and five touchdowns.

Dunne grabbed 151 yards and completed 45 precent of his passes. This was Dunne’s second game in a row without an interception but also his first game of the season not throwing a touchdown pass.

Dunne had turnover problems early in the season but seems to have his arm under control now. The lack of turnovers by the offense is reflecting well on the scoreboard.

Defensively, the Panthers put on a clinic, racking up an astonishing 10 sacks and 13 tackles for loss. Jared Farley was absent on top of the tackle list, while Neal Rickey is entering his third week of highlight level play in the pass rush. He earned four and a half tackles for a loss, as well as three and a half sacks.

The pass rush seems to have found its way, putting up big numbers in the last few showings. This is coming off of an early season sack drought, where they failed to get to any quarterbacks early.

The Panther defense failed to draw any turnovers this week but did manage to hold both the Youngstown State quarterbacks to 258 yards combined and largely stopped the run game.

A great showing by the Panthers run game, a lack of turnovers and a great defensive performance combined to allow the Panthers to go up early, which has been the key to their success. A 16-7 score line at half allowed the Panthers to play pressure free football and simply maintain their lead. The Panthers have struggled playing from behind, so this early scoring is necessary for victory.

Next weekend, the Panthers will travel to Fargo, North Dakota to play North Dakota State. The Bison are enjoying an undefeated season in and out of conference. This will easily be the hardest challenge the Panthers will face, and great performances on each side of the ball might not be enough to dethrone the kings of the Missouri Valley Conference. Kickoff is set for Oct. 28th at 2:30 p.m.