MVFC Week 6 In Review

MVFC LogoThe Scores

North Dakota State – 56
Northern Iowa – 31

Western Illinois – 16
Illinois State – 33

Missouri State – 28
South Dakota – 35

Southern Illinois – 14
Youngstown State – 17

Indiana State – 51
South Dakota State – 54

North Dakota State at Northern Iowa

NDSU often seems to struggle in the UNIDome for some reason and this game would be no different for much of it. UNI struck first on the 3rd play from scrimmage with a 64-yard TD pass to TE Briley Moore. They’d stop the Bison and put together another TD drive, topped off with an 8-yard run by Marcus Weymiller to take an early 14-0 lead. Late in the 1st, NDSU got their first points with a 20-yard TD catch by WR Darrius Shepherd. Early in the 2nd, NDSU tied things up with a 3-yard TD pass to RB Lance Dunn. UNI WR Jaylin James hauled in a 24-yard TD pass to retake the lead. Dunn ran for an 8-yard TD to again tie things up, this time at 21. As time ran out in the first half, UNI kicker Austin Errthum hit a 32-yard FG to take a 24-21 lead into halftime.

In the 3rd quarter, NDSU QB Easton Stick threw a 22-yard TD pass to the WR Shepherd and put the Bison ahead for the first time in the game. Near the end of the quarter on 4th and 2, UNI QB Eli Dunn threw a 26-yard TD pass to freshman WR Deion McShane and would pull ahead 31-28. The 4th quarter, however, it looks like UNI’s defense pretty much ran out of juice, as NDSU would hit a 75-yard TD pass to RB Bruce Anderson, a 1-yard rush by QB Stick, a 31-yard rush by Stick, and a 25-yard run by RB Adam Cofield to blow open a big 56-31 lead, which would be the final score.

NDSU QB Easton Stick threw for 179 yards and 4 TDs and rushed for 35 yards and 2 TDs and was awarded the MVFC Offensive Player of the Week award. RB Bruce Anderson ran for 170 yards and caught 1 75-yard TD pass. RB Lance Dunn ran for 104 with 1 TD and caught 1 3-yard TD pass. LB Dan Marlette led the Bison with 9 tackles (6 solo), CB Marquise Bridges had an INT that he returned 29 yards in addition to 5 tackles, and DE Greg Menard had 5 tackles including 1.5 sacks.

UNI QB Eli Dunne had 362 passing yards and 3 TDs with 1 INT. TE Briley Moore caught 3 passes for 96 yards and 1 TD, and WRs Jaylin James and Deion McShane each had 5 catches including 1 each for TDs. RB Marcus Weymiller had the most ground yards with 57 and 1 TD. LB Duncan Ferch topped the UNI defense with 12 tackles (3 solo) and 1 tackle for loss. LB Chris Kolarevic and DB Korby Sander were right behind with 11 and 10 tackles respectively.

NDSU remains perfect for the season, 5-0 overall and 2-0 in the MFFC and will head down to Macomb to take on Western Illinois next weekend. UNI falls to 2-3 with a 1-1 MVFC record and travels to South Dakota.

Western Illinois at Illinois State

In the 101st meeting of the Leathernecks and Redbirds, WIU took the first lead of the game on their first drive ending in a 16-yard TD pass from QB Sean McGuire to WR Tony Tate. The XP attempt, however, was blocked, picked up ISU DB Willie Edwards and returned all the way back to the other end zone, which, for those of you who aren’t aware, is scored essentially like a 2-point conversion, but for the other team…so, it was 6-2 Leathernecks at that point. Early in the 2nd quarter, ISU would take the lead, scoring on a 12-yard TD run by RB James Robinson to go ahead 9-6. A few drives later, ISU would pull within scoring range and hit a 22-yard FG by JT Bohlken and would have a 12-6 lead. Near the end of the first half, WIU RB Steve McShane returned a punt 23 yards (on a 45 yard punt) and on the next play, McShane hauled in a 35-yard TD catch to give WIU a 13-12 lead going into the break.

In the 3rd quarter, there was a whole lot of defense, but the only points came on a FG by WIU kicker Sam Crosa from 21 yards out to pull ahead a little more, 16-12. Early in the 4th, Robinson found his way into the end zone again on an 11-yard run which gave the Redbirds the 19-16 lead. Then, with 4 ½ minutes left in the game, things completely unraveled for WIU, when the QB McGuire was forced out of the pocket and, while scrambling around, threw an INT to ISU DB Luther Kirk who returned it for a TD to give them a 10 point lead. A 4-and-out for WIU on their next drive allowed ISU to eat up most of the rest of the clock and finished with a 2-yard TD run by Robinson to put the final score at 33-16 Redbirds.

WIU QB Sean McGuire threw for 220 yards and 2 TDs with 1 INT and, despite the mostly poor performance, his stats were enough to move him up to #1 in Western Illinois history in both career passing yards (8,269 in his career) and passing TDs (64). WR Tony Tate hauled in 2 catches for 87 yards and 1 TD (one, a 71 yard catch that was only saved from being a TD by a shoestring tackle after a long gain). RB Steve McShane had 4 catches for 41 yards and 1 TD. The Leathernecks had practically no success on the ground, rushing for a team total of 57 net yards…2.7 yards per run. LB Quentin Moon had 11 tackles (7 solo) and DL Khalen Saunders finished with 9 tackles (2 solo) including 2.5 for loss (1 sack). WIU Punter Adam Fellner had 9 punts averaging 45.2 yards per punt.

ILSU QB Brady Davis was held to 120 yards passing with 0 TDs or INTs. WR Spencer Schnell had most of those yards, nabbing 7 catches for 79 yards. The air game wasn’t really needed, however, as RB James Robinson carried most of the workload, rushing for 145 yards and 3 TDs. LB Zackary Mathews led the Redbirds with 7 tackles (6 solo) and DE Romeo McKnight had 5 including a sack. DB Luther Kirk had 1 tackle, but also had the “pick-6” to help put the game away for ISU. ISU Punter JT Bohlken had a great game, with 9 punts and a 47 yards per punt average including 5 inside the 20, and 4 of 50+ yards including a 61-yarder.

Western Illinois falls to 2-3 overall, 1-1 in the MVFC and will head home to take on North Dakota State next weekend. Illinois State rebounds from last week’s loss and has a 4-1 overall record and is 1-1 in the MVFC. They’ll bring in Southern Illinois next weekend for the Redbird’s Homecoming.

Missouri State at South Dakota

Coming off the heels of an impressive win against Illinois State, the Missouri State Bears headed north to take on the South Dakota Coyotes. On the first drive, USD drove down the field and RB Ben Klett took it the last 3 yards into the end zone to start off 7-0. MSU responded on their next drive, moving 75 yards down the field and finishing with a 10-yard TD run by QB Peyton Huslig to tie things up. Late in the 1st, USD’s Klett would again find the end zone on a 19-yard run. Early in the 2nd, MSU would again tie the game on a 32-yard run by Huslig. USD attempted a 36-yard FG on their next drive, but it sailed wide right. The Coyotes’ kicker, Mason Lorber, got a chance to redeem himself later in the quarter, hitting one from 22 yards out to take a 3-pt lead. Again the Bears would respond, this time with an 11-yard TD pass to WR Antwan Woods, which would give them a 21-17 lead heading into halftime.

Early in the 2nd half, USD DB Andrew Gray picked off a MSU pass which set up a drive capped off with another Ben Klett rushing TD, this time covering 2 yards, giving South Dakota a 3 point lead again. On the next MSU drive, Andrew Gray forced an MSU fumble which gave USD a short field and eventually resulted in a 39-yard FG. MSU wasn’t about to give up though, hitting a 10-yard TD pass to WR Tyler Currie to take a 1 point lead. The USD kicker, Lorber, missed a 42-yard attempt, but then early in the 4th, an 81-yard drive would finish with a TD pass to WR Levi Falck and a successful 2-point conversion to put the Coyotes up 35-28. MSU would use a 7+ minute drive to cover 77 yards and get down to the 1 yard line, but on 3rd and 1, stopped for no gain, then 4th and 1, a loss of 2 to turn the ball over on downs. They weren’t able to get any closer the rest of the game, which gave South Dakota the 35-28 win.

MSU QB Peyton Huslig had 283 yards on 21 completions with 2 TDs and 1 INT and led the Bears in rushing with 91 yards and 2 TDs. WR Tyler Currie caught 7 passes for 113 yards and 1 TD. LB Angelo Garbutt came up with 11 tackles (9 solo) with 1.5 for loss and LB McNeece Egbim had 10 stops (9 solo) with 1 for loss. DE Matt McClellan had 2 sacks out of his 5 solo tackles.

USD QB Austin Simmons threw for 337 yards and 1 TD. WRs Dakari Allen and Levi Falck had 73 receiving yards on 5 catches and Falck had 1 TD catch. RB Ben Klett ran for 96 yards and 3 TDs. DB Andrew Gray earned the MVFC Defensive Player of the Week award for the second week in a row with his 10-tackle performance (7 solo) with 2 forced fumbles and an INT. Gray’s twin brother, LB Alex Gray, also had 10 tackles (8 solo) including 1 for loss. Punter Brady Schutt had an impressive day, averaging 49.3 yards on 3 punts.

Missouri State drops to 3-2 with a 1-1 conference record and hits the road again, traveling to Indiana State next weekend. South Dakota’s win gives them a 3-2 record as well, but they’re 2-0 in the MVFC and will stay at home to welcome Northern Iowa to Vermillion.

Southern Illinois at Youngstown State

Two fairly decent offenses against two lackluster defenses usually shapes up for a high scoring game. Apparently someone forgot to tell the Salukis and Penguins. Early in the 1st quarter, Youngstown State hit a 32-yard FG for the first points of the game. SIU wasn’t able to capitalize on an interception by SIU LB Airan Reed two drives later and were forced to punt. The first drive of the 2nd quarter ended with a TD run by SIU RB D.J. Davis to give the Salukis a 7-3 lead, and then with about 4 ½ minutes left in the half, a 24-yard FG by YSU kicker Zak Kennedy pulled the Penguins within 1. SIU would miss a 44-yard FG and YSU’s next drive would end with an interception by SIU DB Jeremy Chinn in the end zone and returned 51 yards to mid-field to preserve the 7-6 score at halftime.

A 7 minute drive by YSU to start the second half stalled out and Kennedy missed a 42-yard FG. In the 4th, SIU QB Matt DeSomer ran 1 yard for a TD to cap off their own 7+ minute drive that started in the 3rd, and would give SIU a 14-6 lead. Youngstown put together another long drive, which looked like it was going to be cancelled out by an interception by SIU Safety Joe Patterson, but a pass interference call against SIU gave the ball back to YSU and RB Tevin McCaster took it into the end zone 3 plays later on a 1-yard run. A 2-point conversion was successful and the game was tied at 14. SIU was held to a 3-and-out that ended up pushing them 13 yards back, and then YSU was able to get close enough to hit a 34-yard FG to take the win, 17-14.

SIU QB Matt DeSomer threw for 105 yards and ran for 100 yards and 1 TD. RB D.J. Davis had 65 yards and 1 TD rushing. The top receiver for SIU was WR Raphae Leonard, although it was only 49 yards on 4 catches. CB Madre Harper led the Salukis in tackles with 9 (8 solo) and LB Airan Reed and S Jeremy Chinn each had interceptions.

YSU QB Montgomery VanGorder had 137 yards passing with 2 INTs and ran for 48 yards. RB Tevin McCaster had 116 yards and a TD. The top YSU receiver was WR Zach Farrar with 3 catches for 36 yards. CB Chrispin Lee and LB Christiaan Randall-Posey each had 11 tackles (9 solo).

Southern Illinois drops to 1-4 overall and 0-2 in the conference and heads to Normal, IL next weekend to take on Illinois State. Youngstown State is now 2-3 overall, 1-1 in MVFC games and will play at South Dakota State in a week.

Indiana State at South Dakota State

Meanwhile in Brookings, South Dakota State seemed to have left their defense in Fargo last week. On the first drive of the game, SDSU QB Taryn Christion hit a 12-yard pass to WR Adam Anderson for a TD to go up 7-0. INSU responded on their next drive, finishing with a 1-yard run by QB Ryan Boyle to tie the game. SDSU RB Isaac Wallace fumbled the ball giving it back to the Sycamores, which they turned into a 33-yard FG by kicker Jerry Nunez to take a 10-7 lead. SDSU WR Jacob Brown hauled in a 9-yard TD catch early in the 2nd and the Jackrabbits were up by 4. INSU WR Rontrez Morgan took a 22 yard pass into the end zone for a TD, but then South Dakota State responded with a drive ending in a 5-yard TD pass to RB Mikey Daniel, giving SDSU a 21-17 lead going into halftime.

In the 3rd, SDSU pulled ahead even more on a TD pass to RB Isaac Wallace and then an Indiana State fumble by Boyle gave the ball back to the Jackrabbits. SDSU took 5 plays to get down the field and then on a fake FG attempt, kicker Chase Vinatieri ran it in for another TD and SDSU was up 35-17. The Sycamores were not about to go away quietly, as a 62-yard TD run by RB Ja’Quan Keys pulled INSU back within 11. On the next drive, a 69-yard run by RB Pierre Strong set up a 3-yard TD pass to the WR Anderson. Early in the 4th, Indiana State capped off a drive that began in the 3rd with a 4-yard run by QB Boyle for a TD and the “Trees” were back within 11. SDSU got close enough on their next drive for a 30-yard Vinatieri FG, but INSU came back with a 35-yard TD pass to WR Morgan to be down by just 7. SDSU ran the ball quite a bit on the next drive to try to run down the clock but was only able to get close enough for a 27-yard Vinatieri FG…”Bunnies” up by 10 with just over 3 minutes to go. 4 plays into the next drive, another long TD run by ISU RB Keys (57 yards this time) pulled them within 3. The defense then held SDSU to a 3-and-out and used timeouts to only allow 27 seconds to tick off the clock, giving ISU the ball with 1:39 left and down by 3. Back-to-back passes of 30 and 47 yards got ISU across the field pretty quickly and close enough for a 25-yard FG by Jerry Nunez to tie up the game as time expired.

Into overtime, the Sycamores started with the ball and got down to the 1 yard line, but was only able to come away with a FG. The Jackrabbits then got close and RB Wallace took them the final 2 yards for a TD, giving South Dakota State the 54-51 win in overtime.

ISU QB Ryan Boyle threw for 276 yards and 2 TDs with 0 INTs and ran for 60 yards and 2 TDs. The Junior Iowa transfer earned the MVFC Newcomer of the Week award for his performance. WR Rontrez Morgan hauled in 9 catches for 155 yards and 2 TDs, while RB Ja’Quan Keys ran for 159 yards with an 8.4 yards per run average with 2 TDs. LB Jonas Griffith led the team with 18 tackles (11 solo) and DB Jamal Jones was right behind with 17 (12 solo). Kicker Jerry Nunez hit FGs from 33, 25, and 20 yards out. Center Wyatt Wozniak was awarded the MVFC Offensive Lineman of the Week award.

SDSU QB Taryn Christion threw 20 passes on 31 attempts for 229 yards and 5 TDs. WR Adam Anderson hauled in 4 of those for 57 yards and 2 TDs, TE Kallan Hart also had 57 yards, and WR Jacob Brown had a receiving TD. RB Pierre Strong led the team with 95 rushing yards, RB Isaac Wallace had 81 rushing yards and the game-winning TD as well as 39 yards and 1 TD receiving. Chase Vinatieri earned the MVFC Special Teams Player of the Week award for his FGs from 30 and 27 yards as well as his 15-yard TD run.

Despite the impressive offensive effort, Indiana State drops to 2-3 and 0-2 in the conference and will head back home, bringing in Missouri State for the Sycamores Homecoming next week. South Dakota State will spend the week figuring out where their defense has gone to before inviting Youngstown State to town for the Jackrabbits “Hobo Days” (Homecoming) game.

MVFC Standings

Team, Overall (MVFC)
North Dakota State, 5-0 (2-0)
South Dakota, 3-2 (2-0)
Illinois State, 1-1 (4-1)
South Dakota State, 3-1 (1-1)
Missouri State, 3-2 (1-1)
Northern Iowa, 2-3 (1-1)
Western Illinois, 2-3 (1-1)
Youngstown State, 2-3 (1-1)
Indiana State, 2-3 (0-2)
Southern Illinois, 1-4 (0-2)

How’d I Do?

NDSU at UNI – I thought NDSU would win by around 30-21…they won 56-31. NDSU has been a bit more impressive offensively than I expected although I’m kinda surprised they gave up 31 points to…well…anybody (outside of someone like Penn State, Ohio State, or ‘Bama). NDSU won by more than I thought they would, but I’m still counting it in the win column for me.

WIU at ILSU – I thought…well…I hoped…that WIU would win by 3. It was close for a while…minus the last 4 ½ minutes of the game, I might have been right, but it was not to be. WIU lost and so did I on my pick. On the plus side, at least the predicted thunderstorms for the day stopped shortly before the game was to start and held off pretty much the entire day, so it was a nice day to watch football, weather-wise.

MSU at USD – I predicted a 32-24 USD win at Dakota Days and it was…a 35-28 win for USD. I’d call that pretty close.

SIU at YSU – I thought there wouldn’t be much defense in this game and predicted a 42-38 YSU win. I was wrong about the lack of defense, but pretty close on the margin, with YSU winning by 3.

INSU at SDSU – I (and probably most people) expected a complete blowout; my prediction was 55-10 SDSU. I was nearly dead-on for SDSU’s points (54)…but that was only after INSU had put up 51 and taken them to OT. Yes, SDSU won, but this game was so far from what I expected, I don’t feel like I can count this as a win for my prediction.

Last week I was 4-1, so adding in 3-2 for this week’s games, I’m 7-3 overall.

Up next week are early afternoon games involving Missouri State at Indiana State, Southern Illinois at Illinois State, and Youngstown State at South Dakota State, then evening games of North Dakota State at Western Illinois and Northern Iowa at South Dakota.

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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