Northern Iowan

Panthers send Coyotes running, 42-28

NI ARCHIVES

NI ARCHIVES

EMMETT LYNCH, Sports Writer

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The Panthers are back on the prowl after a tiring loss to top ranked rival North Dakota State Bison a week ago in the UNI-Dome.

UNI pummeled the South Dakota Coyotes on Saturday night by a score of 42-28 in Vermillion, South Dakota.

The Panthers football team was forced to get back on the road after falling behind the Bison a week earlier. The Panther offense attempted to maintain their rhythm after putting up over 400 yards of total offense in shutouts against Hampton and Indiana State earlier this season.

UNI’s greatest weapon on offense was their passing game.

The purple and gold racked up 466 yards of offense with 362 of those yards coming through the air in the win. UNI looked to resurrect their offensive dominance and pick up another win against a challenging Missouri Valley Football Conference (MVFC) foe.

This matchup against South Dakota began as a nail-biter with both teams playing solid defense and putting up 27 points through the first 29 minutes of play. With 58 seconds remaining in the second quarter, South Dakota’s Wesley Eliodor fumbled the ball and it was picked up by Alphonso Soko and returned to the Coyotes four-yard line.

The Panther offense took advantage of the excellent field possession and quarterback Eli Dunne snuck the ball into the end zone to give UNI a 21-13 lead at half.

Late in the third quarter, the Coyotes tied the game at 21. Dunne quickly responded with a 21-yard touchdown pass to tight end Briley Moore with 42 seconds left to play in the third quarter.

Early into the fourth quarter, cornerback Xavior Williams intercepted South Dakota quarterback Austin Simmons at the Coyote 25-yard line. On the next play, Dunne found Nick Fossey in the far side of the end zone to put UNI up 35-21.

Two plays into the next possession, Elerson Smith and Brawntae Wells teamed up to force a sack fumble in the endzone. Wells recovered the football in the end zone to put the Panthers up 42-21. The Coyotes posted another score with 7:50 left in the game to cut the lead to 42-27.

While UNI allowed 366 yards of offense, the Panther defense bounced back. After struggling last week agaist the Bison, the defense played a key role in the Panther’s success. Dunne ended the game completing 23 of 32 passes for 253 yards and four thrown touchdowns. Over the last two games, the senior quarterback has completed 68.9 percent of his passes, thrown seven touchdowns and just one interception in the Panther’s first six games.

Dunne and the Panthers will look to continue their climb to the top of the MVFC this Saturday, Oct. 20 as UNI is set to host the second-ranked South Dakota State Jackrabbits in the UNI-Dome for homecoming. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m.

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Panthers send Coyotes running, 42-28