UNI Sprints Past Drake
By Jake Bemis and Josh Christensen, Reporters
A quick look at the box score shows exactly what many expected from Northern Iowa’s 45-14 rout of Drake University: too much UNI offense.
David Johnson rushed for over 140 yards and Sawyer Kollmorgen threw for two touchdowns. UNI’s offensive starters were out of the game midway through the third quarter. Check, check and check.
But the Panthers never scored a touchdown in the first half when they started a drive on their own side of the 50 yard-line, even though the score was 31-0 at halftime.
“Drake’s a great team. It’s credit to them,” Kollmorgen said. “They came out with some stuff that was new to us. Once we learned that, we overcame it. We don’t have to put together 60 yard touchdown drives all the time.”
In scoring their 24 offensive points in the first half, the Panthers never drove the ball further than 44 yards. The other seven points came when Jake Farley recovered a fumble and returned it for a touchdown.
“It’s a great momentum boost, just like a sack,” UNI defensive lineman Xavier Williams said of Farley’s touchdown. “It’s a defensive touchdown. It’s rare. That will always get you ready to go more.”
Williams finished the game with two and a half sacks.
Johnson finally reversed the offense’s struggles in the second half with a 65-yard touchdown rush, which was his final play on the field. He finished the game with 143 yards on 13 carries.
Drake put their first points on the board when quarterback Andy Rice threw a seven-yard pass to Gary Scott to cap off a seven-play, 65-yard drive to start the second half.
The only other touchdown came from a Mike Ratelle pick-six off of UNI quarterback Brion Carnes.
“I felt we needed to evaluate what Brion was as a quarterback to our team. Unfortunately, after (Drake’s touchdown) we had to get some guys back in the game that we already knew about,” UNI coach Mark Farley said.
The Panthers, who have a bye next Saturday, will face Northern Colorado in Greeney, Colo., on Sept. 21. UNI will be without senior linebacker Sam Tim for the first half of the game. Tim was ejected from the game in the second half due to a targeting penalty.
By rule, a player who is ejected in the second half due to a targeting penalty must sit out the first half of his team’s proceeding game barring an overturn during a review of the play.
“I felt that Sam was already releasing his hit on him by the time he was going down. That’s part of the rule. Hopefully it will be looked at and we’ll see where it goes,” Farley said.
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