MVFC Week 5 In Review

MVFC LogoThe Scores

Northern Iowa – 33
Indiana State – 0

Illinois State – 21
Missouri State – 24

South Dakota State – 17
North Dakota State – 21

Youngstown State – 38
Western Illinois – 45

South Dakota – 31
Southern Illinois – 24

Northern Iowa at Indiana State

Northern Iowa headed down to Indiana State for a Thursday night matchup to kick off the MVFC “season”. The game started off pretty slowly, with a successful 46 yard FG for the Panthers the only points in the first quarter. Senior PK Austin Errthum did miss a 49-yard attempt near the end of the quarter. Around halfway through the 2nd, UNI hit a 31-yard FG, followed by a 20-yarder near the end of the half to put Northern Iowa up 9-0 at halftime. In the half, INSU had their own FG attempt, but the 34-yarder went wide right.

In the second half, UNI apparently figured out how to play offense, after holding INSU to a 3-and-out, completed a 45 yard drive capped off with an 18-yard run by RB Trevor Allen. The Panthers picked up another TD following a 90 yard drive finished off with another run by Allen…this time 16 yards into the end zone, which put them up 23-0 going into the final quarter. A 24-yard FG for UNI early in the 4th and then an interception by LB Duncan Ferch taken back 19 yards for a TD put the final score at 33-0, Northern Iowa.

UNI QB Eli Dunne threw for 218 yards in the game…no TDs, but also no INTs. RB Trevor Allen had a career day with 180 yards on the ground and 41 yards receiving (221 all-purpose yards) as well as 2 rushing TDs. LB Chris Kolarevic led the team in tackles with 12 and LB Duncan Ferch had 7 tackles in addition to his previously mentioned pick-6. PK Austin Errthum went 4 out of 5 on FGs, hitting from 46, 31, 20, and 24, and missing a 49 yard attempt. Senior O-lineman Cal Twait was awarded the MVFC Offensive Line Player of the Week award for his part in the Panther offense.

INSU QB Ryan Boyle threw for 136 yards with 1 INT. RB Ja’Quan Keys ran for 76 yards on 16 attempts and WR Dante Hendrix had 5 catches for 76 yards. LB Kattrell Moss led the Sycamores with 12 tackles and DB Jamal Jones had 11 tackles (8 solo) with a fumble recovery.

Northern Iowa is now 2-2 on the season, 1-0 in the MVFC and will have a much tougher contest against North Dakota State back at the UNIDome next weekend. Indiana State falls to 2-2 with a 0-1 MVFC record and will head up to Vermillion to take on South Dakota next weekend.

Illinois State at Missouri State

Illinois State took their perfect record down to Springfield, MO to take on Missouri State on Saturday. Despite Missouri State fumbling on their first drive, ISU wasn’t able to capitalize. The Redbirds missed on a 49-yard FG but on the next drive, MSU hit a 42-yarder to take an early 3-0 lead. Shortly into the second quarter, the Bears were able to start a drive at midfield and move down the field ending in a TD run by QB Peyton Huslig to go up 10-0. Despite an interception picked off by the ISU defense, their offense wasn’t able to turn it into anything and the score would remain 10-0 MSU at halftime.

The second half saw Illinois State take their second drive down the field topping it off with a 5-yard TD pass to WR Spencer Schnell to pull back within 3. Two plays into MSU’s next drive, an ISU INT would give the Redbirds the ball just inside the red zone, which they would take in 2 plays later on another TD pass to Schnell and would give Illinois State the lead for the first time in the game. MSU responded with a long 75-yard drive topped off with a 5 yard TD run by RB Donovan Daniels to put the Bears back up 17-14. Early in the 4th, MSU would pick up another score on a 1 yard TD run by RB Jason Randall to take a 2-possession lead. With a bit over 3 minutes left in the game, ISU pulled back within 3 on a 43-yard TD pass from QB Brady Davis to RB James Robinson. With time winding down, ISU got down into the red zone to attempt a 32-yard FG in the final seconds, but the FG was blocked by MSU CB Darius Joseph to preserve the 3-point win, 24-21.

ILSU QB Brady Davis threw for 226 yards and 3 TDs with 0 INTs. RB Markel Smith ran 6 times for 80 yards (13.3 yards per run average). RB James Robinson also had productive day, running for 54 yards and catching 6 for 97 yards and 1 TD. WR Spencer Schnell had 5 receptions for 71 yards and 2 TDs. LB Zackary Mathews led the team with 16 tackles (10 solo). DBs Luther Kirk and Devin Taylor each had INTs, and LB Tuvone Clark forced a fumble that was recovered by LB Ty Deforest.

MSU QB Peyton Huslig threw for 232 yards and 2 INTs (zero passing TDs), but also ran for 52 yards and 1 TD. RB Jason Randall ran for 63 yards and 1 TD and Donovan Daniels also ran for a TD. The best receiving performance was by true freshman WR Damoriea Vick with 7 catches for 99 yards. LB McNeese Egbim led the Bears with 9 tackles including 1 sack. Junior CB Darius Joseph was named the MVFC Special Teams Player of the Week for his 8 tackles and blocking the FG attempt that would preserve the MSU victory.

Despite the statistical advantage to ISU in many categories (including +3 turnover ratio), MSU was able to get it done with the ground game, successfully defending one of ISU’s best offensive weapons in James Robinson, leading in time of possession, and capitalizing on a few ISU mistakes to earn a surprising win (well…surprising to most people outside of Springfield, MO) over a highly ranked Redbirds squad.

Illinois State drops to 3-1 overall with a 0-1 conference record and will welcome Western Illinois to town for their “Spack Stache Bash” game. Missouri State also has a 3-1 record but is 1-0 against the MVFC so far and will head up to South Dakota next weekend to take on the Coyotes.

South Dakota State at North Dakota State

The Dakota Marker Game…two of the best teams in the FCS going head-to-head for rivalry bragging rights and a big step towards deciding who will likely win the conference title and automatic bid to the playoffs.

The Jackrabbits got things going first with an 89 yard drive over 10 plays that finished with a 3-yard TD pass from QB Taryn Christion to WR Cade Johnson to take a 7-0 lead. The Bison were slower to start, not picking up their first 1st down until a couple of minutes into the 2nd quarter, but that was immediately followed up by a 17-yard TD pass from QB Easton Stick to TE Ben Ellefson, tying up the game at 7. Later in the 2nd, NDSU kicker Cam Peterson missed a 48 yard FG, but on the next Bison drive, they were able to make it all the way to the end zone on a 41-yard TD pass to WR Darrius Shepherd to take a 14-7 lead which was the score going into halftime.

In the 3rd, SDSU CB Jordan Brown had an interception that the Jackrabbits were able to turn into a 39-yard FG by PK Chase Vinatieri to pull within 4. On their next drive, SDSU would regain the lead courtesy of a 61-yard TD run by RB Isaac Wallace. In a drive that started in the 3rd and ended in the 4th quarter, the Bison offense used a couple of big plays to move 80 yards down the field and finish with a 5-yard TD run by Easton Stick to take a 21-17 lead early in the quarter. SDSU missed on a 48-yard FG on their next drive and the defenses would hold the rest of the way, giving NDSU the 4-point victory and possession of the Dakota Marker Trophy.

SDSU QB Taryn Christion threw for 202 yards and 1 TD with 1 INT and ran for 29 yards. RB Isaac Wallace ran for 112 yards and 1 TD and had 21 yards receiving. WR Adam Anderson caught 8 passes for 102 yards. Defensively, LB Christian Rozeboom had 12 tackles (4 solo) and CB Jordan Brown had an INT to go with 4 solo tackles.

NDSU QB Easton Stick threw for 182 yards, 2 TDs and 1 INT while running for 63 yards and 1 TD. The rest of the Bison stable of RBs were held mostly in check with RBs Bruce Anderson and Lance Dunn each picking up between 55-60 yards each. WR Darrius Shepherd caught 5 passes for 118 yards and 1 TD and TE Ben Ellefson had 28 yards and 1 TD on 2 catches. S Robbie Grimsley and LB Jabril Cox led the Bison with 8 tackles. CB Jalen Allison had 3 tackles and an interception returned 31 yards. Punter Garret Wegner averaged 47.4 yards per punt on 5 punts with 3 inside the 20 yard line.

South Dakota State falls to 2-1 overall with a 0-1 MVFC record and will head back to Brookings to take on Indiana State next week in their Hall of Fame Game. North Dakota State remains a perfect 4-0 on the season (1-0 in MVFC games) and head down to Northern Iowa next weekend.

Youngstown State at Western Illinois

For the first time since 2015, the Penguins traveled to Macomb to take on Western Illinois. On WIU’s first drive, an 8-yard pass to TE Adam Conrady would yield a TD and give WIU an early 6-0 lead after an odd failed 2-pt attempt. Later in the 1st. YSU RB Tevin McCaster would cap off a 67-yard drive with a 3-yard TD run and give the Penguins a 7-6 lead. Early in the 2nd, WIU went up 9-7 on a successful 35-yard FG by PK Sam Crosa. YSU attempted their own FG on their next drive, but the 41-yard attempt would go wide left. WIU DB Zach Muniz would pick off a pass by Youngstown QB Montgomery VanGorder, which WIU was able to move down the field with and finish with a 2-yard TD run by QB Sean McGuire to take a 16-7 lead into halftime.

In the 3rd WIU’s first drive was a short one…1 play…a 75-yard TD run by RB Steve McShane to increase the Leathernecks’ lead to 16. The Penguins were able to respond with points on their next drive, hitting a 24-yard FG. Western Illinois got right back to work and drove 69 yards down the field, capped off with a 3 yard TD pass to DE Khalen Saunders (yes…a TD pass to a DE put in as an eligible receiver on offense) to go ahead 30-10. Again Youngstown was able to respond with their own drive and TD on a 21-yard pass to WR Zach Farrar.

Early in the 4th, YSU had another TD on a 2-yard Tevin McCaster run which put the Penguins within 1 score, down 30-24. The Leathernecks opened the lead back up again on a 30-yard TD pass to WR Isaiah Lesure and a successful 2-point conversion would make up for the failed one early in the game and WIU had a 38-24 lead. On YSU’s next play from scrimmage, a completed pass turned into a fumble forced by WIU LB Quentin Moon and was recovered by WIU, which led to a 32-yard TD pass to WIU RB Clint Ratkovich to give the Leathernecks a 45-24 lead with only about 7 minutes left in the game. YSU would not go away quietly however, when, after a TD pass to WR Jermiah Braswell, the Penguins completed a successful onside kick to retain possession. They drove down the field again, reaching the 2 yard line, but had a pass intercepted by DB Justin Fitzpatrick to give WIU the ball back out at the 20. WIU wasn’t able to do anything with it, however, and YSU scored on their next drive to pull back within 1 score, 45-38. This time, however, the onside kick attempt failed and WIU was able to run the clock down the final minute and take the win.

YSU QB Montgomery VanGorder was 33 of 57 on passes for 418 yards (all school records) and 3 TDs, but also had 2 INTs. His performance earned him the MVFC Newcomer of the Week award. RB Tevin McCaster was held to 40 yards, but did pick up 2 rushing TDs. WR Zach Farrar caught 5 passes for 83 yards and 1 TD and WR Jermiah Braswell had 63 yards and 1 TD.

WIU QB Sean McGuire threw for 324 yards and 4 TDs with no interceptions and ran for 1 TD, which earned him the MVFC Offensive Player of the Week award. RB Steve McShane ran for 134 yards and 1 TD on 12 attempts. WR Isaiah Lesure had 6 catches for 99 yards and 1 TD and RB Clint Ratkovich, TE Adam Conrady, and DE Khalen Saunders each had TD receptions. DB Eric Carrera and LB Quentin Moon led the team with 10 tackles each (7 solo for each of them) and Moon had a forced fumble. DBs Zach Muniz and Justin Fitzpatrick each had INTs. DE Khalen Saunders had 5 tackles (4 solo) to go along with his TD reception, which was his first catch for a TD in his collegiate career. He also had a TD run in 2017 against Tennessee Tech.

Youngstown State drops to 1-3 overall with a 0-1 conference record and will head back home and welcome the Southern Illinois Salukis to town for the Penguins’ Homecoming. Western Illinois is now 2-2 and 1-0 in MVFC play and will travel to Illinois State next weekend.

South Dakota at Southern Illinois

In the final MVFC game of the weekend, the USD Coyotes visited the SIU Salukis down in Carbondale, IL. Early on, a pass from SIU QB Sam Straub was intercepted by DB Mark Collins Jr. and returned 30 yards which gave USD the ball at the SIU 9 yard line. Two plays later, and the Coyotes had their first points of the game on a 1-yard run by RB Kai Henry. The next drive, a 10-yard TD pass to TE Nigel Kilby tied up the game at 7. Later in the 1st quarter, USD QB Austin Simmons had a pass intercepted by SIU S Jeremy Chinn, which was returned 23 yards…and then fumbled…but was recovered by SIU CB Madre Harper…and taken another 13 yards. 1 play later and SIU would take a 14-7 lead on a 20-yard TD pass again to the TE Kilby. 9 drives…and 9 punts later (but still in the first half), USD drove down the field 74 yards but only came away with a 23-yard FG from PK Mason Lorber to pull within 4. SIU had their own drive of nearly the same distance (76 yards) at one point getting into the red zone and being picked off by USD DB Elijah Reed in the end zone, however an offsides penalty on the Coyotes gave the ball back to the Salukis. Despite the gift, they would only get as close as the 5 and would have to settle for a 22-yard FG as time expired in the first half with a 17-10 SIU lead.

The 3rd quarter was pretty much all ‘Yotes though, with a 9-yard TD pass to WR Randy Baker tying the game early at 17. Then a 38-yard pass and 45-yard TD pass to Baker gave USD a 24-17 lead, and an 89-yard TD pass to WR Dakarai Allen put USD up 31-17. Southern Illinois was able to put together another quality drive late in the 4th quarter, finishing with a 1-yard TD run by true freshman QB Javon Williams (direct snap, wildcat-style). The onside kick attempt would be unsuccessful, however, and time would run out for the Salukis, with South Dakota taking the 31-24 victory.

USD QB Austin Simmons threw for 333 yards, 3 TDs and 1 INT. WR Dakarai Allen had 6 catches for 183 yards and 1 TD and WR Randy Baker had 6 for 80 yards with 2 TDs. Senior FS Andrew Gray won the MVFC Defensive Player of the Week award with his 14 tackle (11 solo) performance with an interception.

SIU QB Sam Straub threw for 320 yards with 2 TDs and 2 INTs and ran for 33 yards. RB DJ Davis ran for 117 yards, and TE Nigel Kilby caught 7 passes for 109 yards and 2 TDs. SIU LB Bryce Notree led the Salukis with 11 tackles (10 solo) with 2 for loss. S Jeremy Chinn had 5 tackles to go along with his interception, and redshirt freshman LB Luke Giegling had two tackles…both sacks.

South Dakota is now 2-2 on the season with a 1-0 conference record and will head back home next weekend, hosting a surprisingly decent Missouri State team. Southern Illinois falls to 1-3 with a 0-1 MVFC record and will travel out east to Youngstown to take on the Penguins.

MVFC Standings

Team, Overall (MVFC)
North Dakota State, 4-0 (1-0)
Missouri State, 3-1 (1-0)
Northern Iowa, 2-2 (1-0)
South Dakota, 2-2 (1-0)
Western Illinois, 2-2 (1-0)
Illinois State, 3-1 (0-1)
South Dakota State, 2-1 (0-1)
Indiana State, 2-2 (0-1)
Southern Illinois, 1-3 (0-1)
Youngstown State, 1-3 (0-1)

How’d I Do?

UNI @ INSU – I predicted 30-13 win for UNI. It was 33-0 win for UNI. So, the Panther defense is a bit better than I thought, but I think the result is pretty close to what I expected.

ILSU @ MSU – I predicted 36-20 win for ILSU. It was 24-21 win for MSU. I don’t think anyone expected MSU to win this game with as good as Illinois State had been looking the last few weeks. I completely whiffed on this one.

SDSU @ NDSU – I predicted 35-28 win for NDSU. It was 21-17 win for NDSU. I was off on the point totals, but pretty close on the spread. SDSU’s defense performed better than I expected, but I think overall, not a bad pick.

YSU @ WIU – I predicted 30-23 win for WIU. It was 45-38 win for WIU. Exactly on target for the margin of victory and winner…I figured there’d be a bit more defense in this game, but otherwise pretty close to what I was expecting.

USD @ SIU – I predicted 35-17 win for USD. It was 31-24 win for USD. SIU was much more competitive than I originally gave them credit for, but the end result was about what I expected.

So, overall, I think that’s a 4-1 for me, missing on the ILSU at MSU game.

Up next weekend is North Dakota State at Northern Iowa, Western Illinois at Illinois State, Missouri State at South Dakota, Southern Illinois at Youngstown State, and Indiana State at South Dakota State. All games this week are Saturday afternoon, with start times from 1 PM to 6 PM Central.

Written by 

Father, runner, drum corps alumnus. Former member of the Western Illinois Marching Leathernecks. Following Leatherneck football and I-AA/FCS football since 1996.

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