UNI’s postseason effort comes to an end



Trevor Allen has a wide open look from quarterback Eli Dunne.

WILLIAM RIEPE, Sports Writer

This weekend, the Panthers traveled to Brookings, South Dakota to take on the South Dakota State Jackrabbits. UNI fell 22-37, ending their playoff run.

The Panthers gave up many points early, falling behind 7-34 in the second quarter. However, they found their rhythm in the second half and only allowed three points in the form of a field goal in the fourth quarter.

The team found their stride in the second half of the game, grabbing two late touchdowns on the ground from Jared Farley and Trevor Allen. They were able to narrow South Dakota’s lead to 22-37 but were unable to get the offensive spark needed to make the comeback.

Farley, the Panthers’ starting middle linebacker, has found himself part of the offensive snap as of late. He grabbed another touchdown this week on his only rush of the game.

Last week, Farley caught a one-handed catch in the endzone, which appeared at number four on SportsCenter’s Plays of the Week.

Eli Dunne put up solid numbers this weekend, recording 287 yards on a 72 percent completion for a touchdown and an interception.

Dunne has risen to a top five spot in the conference at quarterback and a top 10 position in total offense. As of late, Dunne has had one of the most disciplined arms in the conference, as his interception numbers have dropped significantly since the start of the year. As a junior, Dunne will return next year, but without his favorite target Daurice Fountain.

Fountain has made himself the number one target for Dunne this year, placing second in receiving touchdowns, fourth in receiving yards and fourth for receptions in the conference.

This week his involvement was limited, only snagging three passes for 28 yards. However, he did find himself in the endzone on one of those catches.

For the first game in a long while, Marcus Weymiller did not find himself dominating on the ground, being held to only 60 yards on 13 carries and no touchdowns. After a breakout game early in the season, Weymiller found himself as a top 10 all purpose yards and a top running back contender.

This is after not starting the first few games of the season. However, as this season has shown, when the running game is stopped, Dunne has trouble through the air, and this weekend was no different.

The Panther secondary played strong last week but failed to replicate the performance, yielding three touchdowns and only picking off South Dakota quarterback Taryn Christion once.

Elijah Campbell has separated himself from the pack, rising to the top of the conference for passes defended, interceptions and forced fumbles.

The Panthers end the season an 8-5 record with a 5-1 record at home.

Many players stepped up as the year went on, such as Weymiller, who rushed the Panthers to victories over Missouri State and Indiana State, and Neal Rickey, who is currently the conference leader for sacks and tackles for loss, without starting a full season.

This season was a roller coaster for the Panthers. Early in the season it looked bleak. Interceptions were high and scores were low. However, the Panthers rebounded, going on an unanswered win streak at the end of the year and landing at a 8-5 record with a playoff run to top it off.