Panthers fall to Western Illinois, 37-17



After stellar performances against South Dakota and South Dakota State, UNI (4-4) struggled on offense as they lost to the Leathernecks by 20.


A two-game winning streak came crashing down for the Panthers on Saturday. The Western Illinois Leathernecks took them down, with a score of 37-17.

Neither offense was able to get much going in the first quarter. UNI kept the Leathernecks out of the end zone and didn’t allow them to score any points. Kicker Austin Errtham managed to hit a 32-yard field goal through the uprights with just under five minutes remaining in the first quarter, putting the Panthers up 3-0. 

Early in the second quarter, Western Illinois jumped ahead to a 7 -3 lead with a one yard rush from Max Norris.

UNI quarterback Eli Dunne was able to find running back Marcus Weymiller for a 18-yard touchdown reception to retake the lead. After the extra point, UNI led 10-7.

Western Illinois was able to follow up with some explosiveness on offense. Quarterback Sean McGuire found Isaiah Lesure for a 69-yard catch and run touchdown.

Before the end of the first half, the Panthers struck some bad luck when a sack turned into a fumble by Dunne, which lead to Western Illinois scoring two more points on a safety.

In the third quarter, only the Leathernecks were able to put any points on the board with a another one-yard touchdown from Norris.  Western Illinois found the end zone two more times in the fourth quarter on a touchdown pass from McGuire to Lesure once again. Steve McShane, the older brother of UNI receiver Deion McShane, added the team’s final score on a one yard touchdown rush. 

The Panthers did manage to find their way to the end zone before time expired in the fourth quarter with a one-yard touchdown from Weymiller. It would not be enough, as UNI fell to Western Illinois. 

UNI will be back in action on Nov. 3 when they welcome the Illinois State Redbirds to the UNI-Dome.