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#3 UNI opens spring season with 24-20 loss to #5 SDSU

Published: Feb. 19, 2021 at 10:33 PM CST
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CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (KCRG) - The third-ranked UNI Panthers opened up their spring football season with a 24-20 loss to #5 South Dakota State on Friday. With the loss, the Panthers drop to 0-1 while the Jackrabbits improve to 1-0.

UNI fell behind early as SDSU’s Cole Frahm connected a 24-yard field goal on the Jackrabbits’ first drive.

With three minutes remaining in the first quarter, UNI took lead as quarterback Will McElvain ran for a seven-yard touchdown. McElvain finished the game 17-25 for 143 yards and one rushing touchdown.

SDSU retook the lead with five minutes to go in the half as quarterback Mark Gronowski connected with Jaxon Janke for a six-yard touchdown pass. Gronowski extended their lead moments later as the Jackrabbits recovered a blocked punt down inside the UNI ten yard line which was followed by a Gronowski five yard rushing touchdown.

Down 17-13, UNI was able to take the lead thanks to a touchdown pass from McElvain to Tysen Kershaw with just under six minutes left to play.

With less than two minutes to play, SDSU faced a third and five in their own territory but was able to connect on a long play all the way down to the UNI three yard line. On third down, and Jackrabbits punched it in with a pass from Gronowski to Pierre Strong Jr to take a 24-20 lead.

With seconds left, UNI threw an incomplete pass on the final play of the game.

The Panthers will hope to bounce back against Youngstown State next Saturday at 11:00 a.m.

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