For more than half of the MVFC teams, the 2018 season is now over. For a few, they get to continue on and play at least one more. Now that some of the teams are done, I’ll add a little something new to the end of the recaps, highlighting a few of the seniors who (barring the odd medical redshirt or something) are on to the next phases of their lives…whether that includes professional football, grad school, or some other career. I won’t do everyone, but I’ll try to pick out a few seniors who’s names we’ve seen at least a few times over the course of the season. I’m sure I’ll miss at least a few major contributors, but I’ll try to get most of them, and they all deserve a salute for the hard work and effort they’ve put in over their college football careers.
Youngstown State – 28
Illinois State – 35
Indiana State – 15
Western Illinois – 13
South Dakota – 27
South Dakota State – 49
Southern Illinois – 17
North Dakota State – 65
Missouri State – 0
Northern Iowa – 37
Youngstown State at Illinois State
The Redbirds started off the game with the ball and took it 81 yards down the field and into the end zone on a 37-yard run by RB James Robinson to get things rolling in this game. About halfway through the 1st quarter, the Penguins got their first points on a 41-yard FG from kicker Zak Kennedy. ISU missed a 34-yard FG attempt a little bit later keeping their lead at 4. Early in the 2nd, YSU QB Montgomery VanGorder was sacked and fumbled the ball. It was recovered by ISU DL John Ridgeway and taken down to the YSU 3 yard line, and then on the next play, in for a TD on a 3-yard pass to TE Tylor Petkovich. On YSU’s next drive, they made it to the ISU 24 yard line but settled for a 41-yard FG, making the score 14-6 for the Redbirds. On the kickoff however, YSU DB Alec Burzynski forced a fumble that was recovered by S Donovan McWilson, which gave the Penguins good field position. They took that into the end zone 6 plays later on a 1-yard run by RB Tevin McCaster to pull within 1. Later in the first half, ISU DB Luther Kirk picked up an interception, and the score would remain 14-13 going into halftime.
About 6 minutes into the second half, ISU scored on a 7-yard TD run by the RB Robinson and a few drives later, YSU got their next one on a 10-yard TD catch by WR Ryan Emans. The 2-point conversion was good, tying the game up at 21 with about 90 seconds left in the 3rd quarter. In the first few minutes of the 4th, YSU took their first lead of the game when TE Miles Joiner caught a 58-yard TD pass, but ISU responded on the next drive, using a 54-yard run by RB Robinson to get close and then a 5-yard run by RB Kevin Brown to get it into the end zone, tying it up at 28. YSU was held to a 3-and-out and ISU moved the ball downfield again, with RB Brown again taking it in for a score on a 16-yard TD run to put the score at 35-28 for the Redbirds. ISU’s defense stepped up from that point forward, holding YSU to only 1 first down and with ISU S Mitchell Brees picking up an interception, making 35-28 the final score.
ISU QB Brady Davis had 88 passing yards with 1 TD and ran for 21 yards. RB James Robinson had an incredible day, running for 256 yards and 2 TDs (with an 11.1 yards per attempt average) and earned a MVFC Offensive Player of the Week award, while RB Kevin Brown also picked up 2 TDs and 41 yards. LB Zackary Mathews led the Redbirds with 9 tackles (5 solo) and 2 QB hurries. DB Luther Kirk and Mitchell Brees each had interceptions, and LB Jason Harris had 2 forced fumbles. YSU played two QBs in the game with Nathan Mays throwing for 99 yards and 2 TDs with 1 interception and ran for 61 yards, while Montgomery VanGorder had 23 yards and 1 INT. RB Tevin McCaster ran for 142 yards and 1 TD and TE Miles Joiner and WR Ryan Emons each had a TD reception. LB Armand Dellovade had 11 tackles (7 solo) with 4 for loss. Kicker Zak Kennedy hit two 41-yard FGs and averaged 59 yards on 6 kickoffs with 2 touchbacks.
Youngstown State finishes out the 2018 season with a 4-7 overall record and 3-5 against the conference. YSU says goodbye to QB Montgomery VanGorder, RB Tevin McCaster, LB Armand Dellovade, DT Savon Smith, and PK Zak Kennedy.
Illinois State ends up 6-5 and 3-5 in the MVFC. A few of the Redbirds seniors who are done include Safety Mitchell Brees, WR Spencer Schnell, QB Jake Kolbe, LB Zackary Mathews, and TE Tylor Petkovich.
— Illinois State FB (@RedbirdFB) November 17, 2018
Indiana State at Western Illinois
The Leathernecks got the scoring started a bit over 5 minutes into the game on a 44-yard FG from kicker Sam Crosa. Later in the first, ISU forced a turnover on a fumble by WIU QB Sean McGuire that was forced by DB Denzel Bonner and recovered by DL Rex Mosley at the WIU 11. They didn’t really get anywhere with it though, as WIU held them to a 26-yard FG by kicker Jerry Nunez to tie the game at 3. Early in the 2nd, a WIU punt was downed at the INSU 1, but after 12 plays got them 98 yards, the 13th got them 1 more into the end zone on a run by QB Ryan Boyle. The 2-point conversion failed, putting the score at 9-3. Late in the 2nd, WIU missed on a 42-yard FG attempt, preserving that score through halftime.
On the first play from scrimmage in the second half, WIU RB Steve McShane ran 65 yards into the end zone, giving the Leathernecks a 10-9 lead. ISU picked up 83 yards on their next drive all the way to the WIU 1 yard line, but had to settle for an 18-yard FG to pull ahead by 2. On WIU’s next drive, they took back the lead with a 35-yard FG and 2 plays into ISU’s drive, WIU DB Xavier Rowe picked off an interception. There was quite a bit of defense in the 4th quarter, but eventually, with about 3 ½ minutes to go in the game, ISU started a drive that moved 71 yards downfield and ended with a 27-yard FG as time expired to win 15-13.
ISU QB Ryan Boyle threw for 149 yards with 1 interception and ran for 6 yards and 1 TD. RB Peterson Kerlegrand ran for 102 yards. LB Jonas Griffith finished with 9 tackles (8 solo) and had 4.5 tackles for loss (1 sack). Kicker Jerry Nunez was 3-3 on FGs from 18, 26, and 27 yards out and earned the MVFC Special Teams Player of the Week award. WIU QB Sean McGuire had 202 yards passing and 18 yards running (0 TDs or INTs). RB Steve McShane had 129 rushing yards with 1 TD and 33 receiving yards, while RB Clint Ratkovich had 79 receiving yards and 7 rushing yards. LB Quentin Moon picked up 13 tackles (5 solo) with 1 sack, DL Khalen Saunders finished with 11 tackles including 2 sacks, and the FCS leader in sacks (tied, prior to results of this weekend) LB Pete Swenson picked up 7 tackles including ½ sack.
Indiana State finishes the regular season at 7-4 and 5-3 in the conference, which is an incredible turnaround considering they were winless last year. They were, somehow (despite winning their last 5 straight) not selected to participate in the playoffs and so Sycamores fans have to say goodbye to seniors like RB Ja’Quan Keys, LB Katrell Moss, DB Jamal Jones, DB Rondell Green, DL Pishon Powell, and O-Lineman Tate Leavitt.
Western Illinois ends up 5-6 overall with a 4-4 MVFC record. Seniors that have finished their Leatherneck Football careers include WR Isiah LeSure, RB Steve McShane, DB Xavier Rowe, DB Justin Fitzpatrick, LB Quentin Moon, LB Pete Swenson, DL Khalen Saunders, O-Lineman Drew Wagner, and QB Sean McGuire. McGuire ends his career as the #1 QB in WIU history for Career Yards, Yards per Game, Completions, Attempts, and TDs, and in the top 5 in Completion Percentage, as well as numerous game and season records.
— Sycamore Football (@IndStFB) November 17, 2018
South Dakota at South Dakota State
The Jackrabbits got things rolling early in Brookings on a 30-yard TD run by RB Pierre Strong Jr. The Coyotes used a couple of big runs early on their next drive to set up a 3-yard TD pass to TE Brett Samson to tie things up. Around halfway through the 1st quarter, SDSU needed only 1 play…a 73-yard TD run by RB Strong to take a 14-7 lead. On USD’s next drive, a pass by QB Austin Simmons was intercepted by CB Marshon Harris giving SD State the ball at the USD 34 and a few plays later, QB Taryn Christion hit WR Cade Johnson with a 20-yard TD pass. USD was then held to a 3-and-out before SDSU TE Blake Kunz caught a 59-yard TD pass to put the Jackrabbits up 28-7 after 1 quarter. There wasn’t a lot of scoring in the 2nd until late in the quarter when USD QB Simmons was sacked and fumbled the ball, which was recovered by SDSU DE Ryan Earith at the USD 36. Shortly thereafter, QB Christion ran the ball 16 yards into the end zone to take a 35-7 lead going into halftime.
In the first drive of the second half, USD got some more points on the board when QB Simmons ran the ball 8 yards for a TD to pull within 21. Later in the quarter, SDSU started a drive at midfield on an out-of-bounds punt and drove down the half-field taking it in on a 10-yard TD pass to WR Cade Johnson to go up 42-14. Into the 4th quarter, USD took 12 plays to cover 80 yards and score on a 16-yard run by QB Simmons, cutting the lead to 22 and then on their next drive, they used a 13-play drive going 78 yards finishing with a 17-yard TD pass to TE Connor Herrmann, making it 42-27 at that point. The Jackrabbits responded fairly quickly with a 46-yard TD run by RB Strong and USD was held out of the end zone for the remainder of the game, with the final score of 49-27 for South Dakota State.
USD QB Austin Simmons threw for 295 yards and 2 TDs with 1 interception and ran for 79 yards with 2 TDs. WR Shamar Jackson caught 11 passes for 111 yards. DB Elijah Reed led the Coyotes with 7 tackles (4 solo). SDSU QB Taryn Christion finished with 172 yards and 3 TDs passing plus 26 yards and 1 TD rushing. RB Pierre Strong Jr. had 253 yards and 3 TDs and earned the MVFC Newcomer of the Week award. TE Blake Kunz led the Jackrabbits with 68 receiving yards and 1 TD and WR Cade Johnson had 58 yards with 2 TDs. LB Christian Rozeboom racked up 13 tackles (8 solo) with 1.5 for loss. CB Marshon Harris had 5 tackles, 1 forced fumble, and 1 interception, and DE Ryan Earith picked up 4 tackles including 1 sack, with 1 forced fumble and 1 fumble recovery.
South Dakota finishes their season at 4-7 with a 3-5 conference record. Some of the Coyotes who have finished up their collegiate playing careers include the Gray brothers, DB Andrew and LB Alex, WR Shamar Jackson, CB Michael Frederick, LB Alex Coker, and O-linemen Cody Jennings and Nick Jenson.
South Dakota State completes the regular season at 8-2 and 6-2 in the MVFC. They earned the #5 seed in the FCS playoffs and will host the winner of the Duquesne @ Towson game in two weeks. For playoff teams, I won’t do my “seniors spotlight” until they are eliminated from the playoffs.
Never gets old! Way to go Jacks! On to bigger and better things now…FCS Playoffs! pic.twitter.com/xXR0gnfHhv
— Dan Dykhouse (@DanDykhouse) November 18, 2018
Southern Illinois at North Dakota State
SIU WR/CB Ja’Quan Burton must have figured that the Salukis would need to get points early if they had any chance at beating NDSU, so he went and ran the kickoff 100 yards back for a TD. NDSU didn’t quite do the same thing, but it did only take them 4 plays to cover 79 yards for their first TD on a 36-yard run by RB Ty Brooks to tie things up. The Bison’s next drive was only 3 plays (they started at midfield) with QB Easton Stick running the final yard into the end zone. SIU responded with a 59-yard TD pass from QB Matt DeSomer to WR Raphael Leonard, but NDSU went right back and regained the lead on a 60-yard TD pass from QB Easton Stick to TE Nate Jenson. On SIU’s first play following the kickoff LB Dan Marlette forced a fumble by WR Burton that was recovered by DE Greg Menard and QB Stick would only need one play, a 22-yard pass to TE Ben Ellefson to double up the score, 28-14. NDSU Safety Robbie Grimsley had an interception a few plays later, but NDSU would end up getting stopped at the SIU 3 with no gain on a 4th and 1. Early in the second quarter, NDSU picked up another TD with a 31-yard pass to WR Darrius Shepherd. The next two drives ended in interceptions, with NDSU’s Grimsley getting his second of the game, then SIU Safety Joe Patterson getting one off of QB Stick. There was no further scoring in the half, so the halftime score was 35-14.
In the second half, the Bison got points off an 18-yard run by RB Bruce Anderson, a safety against SIU, and a 30-yard run by RB Anderson to put them up 51-14 before SIU had their next chance to score, with kicker Griffin Cerra hitting a 25-yard FG. At this point, NDSU put in mostly their second-string players, and freshman RB Saybien Clark was able to pick up a TD on a 19-yard run. SIU QB Sam Straub had a pass intercepted by SS Michael Tutsie and a few plays later, RB Adam Cofield ran 20-yards back into the end zone making it 65-17 for the Bison. SIU used up nearly 6 minutes on their next drive, with 13 plays covering 73 yards but turned the ball over on downs at the NDSU 2 and the Bison would hold on to win.
SIU QB Matt DeSomer threw 144 yards with 1 TD and 2 interceptions and QB Sam Straub also had an interception. DeSomer, typically a running QB, was held to -5 yards. WR Raphael Leonard caught 2 passes for 68 yards and 1 TD. Safety Joe Patterson and LB Withney Simon finished with 7 tackles each, with Patterson picking up an interception. NDSU QB Easton Stick had 302 yards passing with 3 TDs and 1 interception and ran for a TD. RB Ty Brooks ran for 113 yards with 1 TD, RB Bruce Anderson had 68 and 2 TDs, RB Adam Cofield had 84 and 1 TD, and RB Saybien Clark had 66 with 1 TD. WR Darrius Shepherd caught 5 passes for 99 yards and 1 TD and TEs Nate Jenson and Ben Ellefson each had TD catches as well. LB Dan Marlette and DE Derrek Tuszka each had 7 tackles, with Marlette picking up a forced fumble. DE Caleb Butler had 5 tackles and 1 sack, and Safety Robbie Grimsley had 3 tackles with 2 interceptions.
Southern Illinois finishes a disappointing season at 2-9 with a 1-7 conference record. Seniors on the Salukis team include QBs Sam Straub and Matt DeSomer, WRs Darrell James and Raphael Leonard, RB Jonathan Mixon, LB Withney Simon, and O-Linemen Josh Podzielinski, Bryce Wagner, Aaron Harris, and Ben Bailey.
North Dakota State ends their season at a perfect 11-0 and 8-0 in the MVFC. Not surprisingly, as the MVFC champion and #1 seed in the playoffs, they have the next weekend off before hosting the winner of the Incarnate Word at Montana State game (IWU’s first postseason appearance).
— NDSU Football (@NDSUfootball) November 17, 2018
Missouri State at Northern Iowa
Missouri State started off with the ball…and immediately fumbled it (forced by UNI DB Korby Sander) to UNI DB A.J. Allen. A few plays later, the Panthers had their first points on a 34-yard FG. A bit later in the quarter, UNI QB Eli Dunne threw a 16-yard TD pass to WR Jaylin James to take a 10-0 lead. A defensive stalemate broke out for much of the 2nd quarter until UNI QB Dunne threw a 27-yard TD pass to WR Jalen Rima, moving the Panthers up 17-0. Two plays into their next drive, MSU QB Peyton Huslig threw a pass to UNI DB Korby Sander. UNI were able to turn it into 3 more points on a 43-yard FG by kicker Austin Errthum making the score 20-0 going into halftime.
In the second half, the Panthers started with the ball and took 9 plays to move 76 yards down the field, topping it off with a 1-yard TD run by RB Marcus Weymiller. No more scoring in the 3rd quarter, but in the first play of the 4th, after a UNI drive had stalled out at the MSU 10, a 27-yard FG put them up 30-0 on the Bears. MSU QB Huslig had a pass intercepted on the next drive by LB Duncan Ferch that was returned 62 yards to the MSU 13. 4 running plays by RB Weymiller got them the rest of the way in and UNI was up 37-0. Missouri State would get as close as the UNI 6 yard line, but they’d turn the ball over on downs on a sack when they were going for 4th and 5. The UNI defense would hold the rest of the way, preserving the 37-0 shutout.
MSU QB Peyton Huslig had 72 passing yards with 2 interceptions, with 41 yards of that going to WR Damoriea Vick. RB Jason Randall had 55 rushing yards. As is fitting in the final game of the season for the Bears, three names that have been heard most from the Bears defense, LBs Angelo Garbutt and McNeece Egbim, and Safety Jared Beshore finished with 11 tackles each. Garbutt also had ½ sack. Punter Brendan Withrow averaged 44 yards on 7 punts with 1 inside the 20. UNI QB Eli Dunne threw for 227 yards and 2 TDs, 1 to WR Jalen Rima (who had 73 yards) and 1 to WR Jaylin James (who had 70 yards). RB Marcus Weymiller ran for 91 yards and 2 TDs. DB Korby Sander finished with 13 tackles (1 solo), 1 forced fumble, 1 interception, and a MVFC Defensive Player of the Week award. LB Alfonzo Lambert picked up 12 tackles and LB Duncan Ferch had 5 tackles and an interception returned 62 yards. PK Austin Errthum hit FGs from 34, 43, and 27 yards out.
Missouri State finishes their season at 4-7 overall with a 2-6 MVFC record. Some of the Senior Bears this season include CBs Jamario McClendon and Matt Rush, RB Jason Randall, S Jared Beshore, and O-linemen Marquis Prophete, Brad Pryor, Jordan Turner, and Aaron Clardy.
Northern Iowa finishes the regular season at 6-5 with a 5-3 conference record and (somewhat surprisingly…including to many UNI fans) will continue their season into the playoffs, hosting Lamar University next weekend.
— UNI Football (@UNIFootball) November 18, 2018
Final MVFC Standings
Team, MVFC Record (Overall Record)
North Dakota State, 8-0 (11-0)
South Dakota State, 6-2 (8-2)
Northern Iowa, 5-3 (6-5)
Indiana State, 5-3 (7-4)
Western Illinois, 4-4 (5-6)
Illinois State, 3-5 (6-5)
Youngstown State, 3-5 (4-7)
South Dakota, 3-5 (4-7)
Missouri State, 2-6 (4-7)
Southern Illinois, 1-7 (2-9)
How’d I Do?
YSU at ILSU – I thought 24-17 ILSU. It was 35-28 ILSU. So, a little off on the total points, but got the margin right, so that counts.
INSU at WIU – I thought 33-27 WIU. It was 15-13 INSU. Heartbreaking finish to my Leathernecks’ season. Not what I wanted to see, not what I hoped I’d see.
USD at SDSU – I thought 37-23 SDSU. It was 49-27 SDSU. The Jackrabbits outperformed my expectations a bit, but it wasn’t too far off how I thought it’d go down.
SIU at NDSU – I thought 45-10 NDSU. It was 65-17 NDSU. Didn’t really account for the second string NDSU guys getting so many points, but this was pretty close to expectations, I think.
MSU at UNI – I thought 34-20 UNI. It was 37-0 UNI. Wow…UNI defense really stepped things up. Shutting out any MVFC opponent is no easy task, and it was the 2nd one this season (third total shutout). And because I need the points, I’ll call it a win…I mean, I got pretty close on UNI’s points, right?
Previously I was 16-14 in my picks. I went 4-1 this week, so at the end of the regular season, my record is a thoroughly mediocre 20-15.
Well, the regular season is now over, and only 3 MVFC teams made it into the playoffs. I was expecting NDSU and SDSU…but UNI was something of a surprise. For the 2 of you who maybe haven’t seen the full bracket yet, you can check that out here. I mentioned it earlier, but NDSU is the #1 seed and takes the weekend off, hosting the winner of Incarnate Word at Montana State. SDSU is the #5 seed and also have next weekend off and will host the winner of Duquesne at Towson. UNI makes it in as an at-large and hosts Lamar with the winner heading to play at #6 UC Davis. At this point, I plan on continuing my previews and reviews for as long as any MVFC are still playing, so you can check back later this week for my preview of Lamar at Northern Iowa.