Panthers sink Pirates, 44-0

EMMETT LYNCH, Sports Writer

The UNI Panther football team dominated play in the UNI-Dome for their 2018 home opener this past Saturday against the Hampton Pirates in their final non-conference matchup.

The Panthers earned their first win of the season, after two tough non-conference losses to the Montana Grizzlies and Iowa Hawkeyes.

With a 44-0 score, the Panthers completed their first shutout since the 2015 season.

UNI’s offense rose to the occasion putting on a stellar performance, with 414 total yards of offense and five touchdowns.

Quarterback Eli Dunne picked right back up in efficiency during Saturday’s matchup after two slow games to start the year. Dunne threw three of the five Panther touchdowns through the air as he finished the game completing 12 of 23 passes for 191 yards and zero interceptions.

Running backs Trevor Allen and Marcus Weymiller both notched a rushing touchdown, with Trevor Allen breaking for a 49-yard score in the second quarter. Allen’s run was the longest touchdown run since Dec. 5, 2015, where Tyvis Smith broke for a 59-yard score to cap off a 29-17 victory over Portland State in the FCS Playoffs in Portland.

Freshman receiver Deion McShane had a breakout game from the slot receiver position, tallying 117 yards on seven receptions.

Tight end Elias Nissen kicked off the game with a 12-yard touchdown catch early in the first quarter, while sophomore wide receiver Nick Fossey emerged into the light with a 19-yard touchdown reception late in the third quarter, putting the Panthers up 34-0.

The Panther defense rose to the occasion as well, forcing five turnovers in the game. A number of Panthers tallied up interceptions against Hampton quarterback Delmon Williams, including defensive starters in Xavior Williams, Roosevelt Lawrence, A.J. Allen and Chris Kolarevic.

After the win, Allen complemented his team for completing the shutout.

“You feel like you did your job,” he said. “It’s a great feeling in college football.”

UNI picked up one fumble recovery after Blake Thomas forced the loose ball and Isaiah Nimmers picked up the ball to give the Panthers it with under a minute to play to close the game.

“This was a great learning experience,” said head coach Mark Farley. “It was a very good start. It’s what we needed at this point.”

The Panthers will travel to Indiana State to take on the Sycamores to begin Missouri Valley Football Conference play. UNI is 27-5 all-time against the Sycamores and looks to continue a stream of on-field dominance at 6 p.m. this Saturday, Oct. 28 in Terre Haute, Indiana.