Johnson, UNI Stun Iowa State

By Rob Gray, Correspondent

AMES — It was Johnson and Johnson.

And Johnson.

Northern Iowa's star running back David Johnson, that is.

He deserved three up-front mentions — and one more.

The former Clinton standout who nearly beat Iowa State two years ago, finished the job Saturday at Jack Trice Stadium, racking up 240 all-purpose yards and a program-tying record four touchdowns as the FCS Panthers beat the Big 12 Cyclones, 28-20, before a stunned sellout crowd of 56,800.

UNI (1-0) has now won two of the last four games in the series — and grew stronger, especially on defense, as the game wore on.

Besides Johnson, Panther quarterback Sawyer Kollmorgen proved impressive, hitting on 21 of 28 passes for 218 yards and two touchdowns.

Cyclone quarterback Sam Richardson threw for 242 yards and rushed for a team-leading 74, but it wasn't enough.Receiver Justin Coleman had four catches for 103 yards.

ISU mostly succeeded moving the ball, especially in the first three quarters.

The Cyclones used four different ball carriers in their first six rushes, including Richardson, who scampered 24 yards on a zone-read option.

But the drive stalled at the 31-yard line and kicker Edwin Arceo missed a 48-yard field goal attempt wide left.

Momentum in hand, UNI struck quickly.

A 15-yard catch by Kevin Vereen presaged a more explosive play by Johnson, who turned the corner, broke a tackle and jetted 37 yards to put the Panthers up 7-0 with 6:13 left in the first quarter.

The drive spanned five plays, 69 yards and 2:09.

It also established a trend — especially for the Panthers.

ISU botched the ensuing kick return and started from its own 11.

After a steady diet of Shontrelle Johnson runs, Richardson found Coleman wide open crossing over the middle for a 59-yard touchdown that knotted the score two minutes and 30 seconds later.

UNI responded with Johnson, who set up his own 9-yard scoring catch with a 32-yard run.

Also, a trend.

The Cyclones continued to pound the football with moderate success, but the Panthers packed the box, forcing a Kirby Van Der Kamp punt.

Far, far worse for ISU: Center Tom Farniok — who started his offense-leading 27th straight game Saturday — went down with an apparent right leg injury.

He eventually was carted off the field, but not without seeing Johnson strike again.

The Panther running back made his team 3-for-3 on early touchdown drives, powering for the last 40 yards on two carries and making the score 21-7.

The Cyclones' offense then revived behind running back James White, who rushed ISU into the red zone and capped the drive with a 7-yard touchdown catch.

ISU added a pair of short second-half field goals by Cole Netten, narrowing the UNI lead to 21-20.

But Johnson and Kollmorgen produced another big play — a 29-yard touchdown that included several missed tackles, putting UNI back in front 28-20 with 3 minutes left.

Johnson's one blemish — a fumble at the ISU one with 1:44 — left gave the Cyclones hope, but they never advanced the ball past the 30-yard line.

- See more at: http://thegazette.com/2013/08/31/johnson-uni-stun-iowa-state/#sthash.6XicIsAc.dpuf
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