AKA: Mistakes were made
(for games directly relevant to MVFC teams)
Lamar – 13
Northern Iowa – 16
Incarnate Word – 14
Montana State – 35
Montana State will play at #1 North Dakota State next weekend
Duquesne – 31
Towson – 10
Duquesne will play at #5 South Dakota State next weekend
Lamar at Northern Iowa
The big question from most MVFC fans going into this game was…which UNI team will show up? The team that beat South Dakota State…or the team that got steamrolled by YSU and WIU? Well, it didn’t take long for us to get our answer, when Lamar’s QB Darrel Colbert Jr., on their second play from scrimmage, hit WR Kirkland Banks with a short pass that turned into a 73-yard TD play with the help of a good block and Bank’s ability to turn on the jets once he got a bit of space. The XP snap was awkward though, so they ended up trying to get the ball to the end zone, but failed, making it 6-0 for the Cardinals less than a minute into the game. UNI responded on their next drive using a 59-yard return by WR Deion McShane and a 26-yard run by RB Marcus Weymiller to get close enough for a 21-yard FG by kicker Austin Errthum. The next drive by Lamar took quite a bit longer than the first one (12 plays, 75 yards) but also ended in a TD pass, this time to TE Case Robinson, putting them up 13-3 halfway through the first quarter. Despite WR McShane returning the kickoff 47 yards, UNI was only able to net a total of 2 yards after a TD pass to WR Jaylin James was called back due to pass interference. The Panther defense did step things up at that point, but so did Lamar’s, with the next points not coming until nearly halfway through the 2nd quarter. A couple of solid runs by RB Trevor Allen got them close enough for Errthum to hit a 44-yard FG, making it 13-6. UNI started their next drive at their own 9 (and a false started pushed them back to the 4), but the Panther run game was able to move out to midfield. A couple of passes by UNI’s QB Eli Dunne to WRs Jaylin James and Jalen Rima got them the rest of the way, with the second being a 32-yard TD pass to a wide open Rima to tie things up at 13. Lamar’s final drive of the half ended in a long pass to the end zone that was intercepted by UNI DB Isaiah Nimmers, making the halftime score 13-13.
In the second half, Lamar seemed to have an easier time moving the ball, but both teams had a hard time holding on to the ball. Lamar got down to the UNI 17 on one drive fairly early on, but on a run by RB Myles Wanza, UNI DL Bryce Douglas forced a fumble that was recovered by UNI DB Korby Sander. A few drives later, the Panthers were just outside their own red zone, when a Dunne pass was batted up into the air by Lamar DE Dedrick Garner and caught by LB Chaston Brooks, giving the Cardinals the ball at UNI’s 21. Their drive would only go backwards for a net -4 yards and they missed a 42-yard FG wide right to keep the score tied. A few minutes into the 4th quarter, Northern Iowa was able to get down to the Lamar 17 yard line, and kicker Errthum hit a FG from 35 yards out to take a slim 3-point lead. Lamar stalled out on their next drive, after a sack by LB Rickey Neal Jr. put them at 4th and 15. On the kick, however, Lamar took a gamble, direct snapping the ball to DE Brandon Arnold, catching the Panthers off guard and picking up 23 yards. A 28-yard pass to WR Jawun Ruffin got them into the red zone, but UNI’s Christian Jegen was able to force a second fumble in the red zone, this one also recovered by DB Sander, keeping the Cardinals out of the end zone once again. Lamar’s defense halted the Panther offense just outside of FG range. Despite starting back at their own 14, Lamar moved quickly down the field, using a 47-yard pass to WR Taylor Givens to eventually get them down to the UNI 13, although a sack moved them back to the 19. The 36-yard FG attempt was missed to the right again and despite a solid drive…once again Lamar failed to put points on the board. Nearing the end of the game, UNI spent most of their next drive running the ball, so that by the time the Cardinals got it back, they only had 15 seconds left to go, at their own 26, with no timeouts remaining. Lamar’s QB Colbert was sacked on the first play, eating most of the time and forcing him to spike the ball with what appeared to be about a half second left (close enough that the refs had to review it to make sure time hadn’t expired). The final play was a pass that went about 115 yards and was tossed around to a couple of Lamar players before a lateral hit the ground and was fallen on by a couple of UNI and LU players, ending the game with Northern Iowa coming away with the 16-13 victory.
A lateral is fumbled by the Cardinals and that will be the final from the UNI-Dome. The Panthers advance and are on to California Saturday to face UC Davis at 6 p.m. CT. pic.twitter.com/QPEyeHp4YA
— UNI Football (@UNIFootball) November 25, 2018
UNI QB Eli Dunne had 107 yards passing with 1 TD and 1 interception off the batted pass. The RBs had a solid day, with Marcus Weymiller running for 128 yards and Trevor Allen with 112 yards. WR Jaylin James led the team in receiving yards with 55 on 4 catches, but WR Jalen Rima had the sole Panther TD and picked up 32 yards on that one catch. WR Deion McShane had a couple of short catches in the receiving game, but was instrumental in the kick return game, with two kickoff returns for a total of 109 yards. PK Austin Errthum’s contributions were significant in such a low-scoring affair, hitting FGs from 21, 44, and 35 yards out, successfully kicking the one XP attempt (so, he accounted for 10 of the 16 points for UNI), kicking off 5 times with 4 touchbacks (although one kick went out of bounds) and averaging 63 yards per kickoff. LB Duncan Ferch led the Panthers with 10 tackles (3 solo) and 2 qb hurries. DL Elerson Smith had 2 sacks in the game, while LBs Rickey Neal, Bryce Flater, and Alfonso Lambert had 1 sack each. DB Korby Sander had two fumble recoveries to go along with 5 tackles and DB Isaiah Nimmers had an interception.
Lamar QB Darrel Colbert Jr. threw for 268 yards with 2 TDs and 1 interception including 77 yards and 1 TD to WR Kirkland Banks. WR Case Robinson had the other TD reception and 34 yards. On the ground, RB Myles Wanza led the team with 85 yards. QB Colbert had 50 positive yards on running plays, but lost 37 yards on those 5 UNI sacks which negated much of it. Lamar DB Lane Taylor led the Cardinals with 14 tackles (5 solo). LB Chaston Brooks had 7 tackles and caught the interception, and DE Daniel Crosley had 6 tackles including a sack. Punter Tyler Slaydon had 3 punts that averaged 52 yards per kick and 1 that dropped inside the 20.
Lamar ends their win streak at 6 and their season at 7-5 overall.
Northern Iowa is 7-5 with the win, and they will head out west to take on #6 UC Davis next weekend.
How’d I Do?
Well, I thought UNI would kinda run away with things in the second half, winning 34-14. They were able to run the ball pretty well, but Lamar kept them out of the end zone in the second half. Luckily for the Panthers, Lamar couldn’t seem to stop shooting themselves in the feet with turnovers and missed FGs costing them the game and their first playoff win. I have to give credit to Lamar for being able to move the ball pretty well against UNI’s defense, but anyone who has watched a bit of UNI this season knows that the UNI team that showed up today was not anything close to as good as we’ve seen the Panthers play (like against SDSU). There were a lot of mistakes from both teams, to the point where it felt like neither team really wanted to win sometimes. The Panthers were able to claw out one more FG, which was just enough to win.
The top 8 seeded teams get into the mix next weekend and there’ll be three MVFC teams in action, with Montana State heading to #1 North Dakota State, Duquesne also making a trip to the Dakotas facing off against #5 South Dakota State, and the previously-mentioned Northern Iowa traveling to #6 UC Davis.