SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The University of Northern Iowa football team came away with its second win in a row over Missouri State, defeating the Bears 17-10. The Panthers have improved to a 6-5 overall record and is now 2-5 in the Missouri Valley Football Conference.
David Johnson finished with 167 yards on the ground and two touchdowns while Brion Carnes went 14-21-1 for 120 yards in his second career start as the Panthers’ quarterback. Tate Omli led the Panther defensive corps with 17 tackles and two interceptions.
Missouri State placekicker Austin Witmer converted on a 37-yard field goal to put the Bears up 3-0 over the Panthers to start the game. The drive ended at the 12:10 mark in the first quarter, burning 2:50 for seven plays and 55 yards.
After MSU running back Ryan Heaston fumbled the ball on his own two-yard-line, Brett McMakin came up with the recovery to set UNI up for its first points of the game. Johnson notched a one-yard rushing touchdown to put UNI up 7-3 with 8:57 left in the quarter. The drive took 38 seconds off the clock for two plays and two yards.
The Panthers kept the momentum in its direction after Deiondre’ Hall picked up his first career reception for 20 yards, setting up the next UNI points. Johnson scored his second touchdown of the game on the next play, rushing for 21 yards into the end zone to make the score 14-3 with 4:05 left in the first quarter. The drive took 2:23 off the clock for seven plays and 64 yards.
The Panthers and the Bears held each other scoreless during the second and the third quarters, with both teams playing strong defense. Omli came up with his first interception as a Panther in the second quarter, keeping Missouri State at bay with its three points.
UNI’s defense came up big again to start the fourth quarter after Makinton Dorleant landed a monstrous hit on the MSU quarterback, forcing the Bears’ fourth turnover of the game. Xavier Williams came up with the recovery, returning it nine yards.
The defense set the Panthers up for its next offensive set, driving down field 31 yards with Tyler Sievertsen knocking in a 36-yard field goal to put UNI up 17-3 with 10:20 left in the game. The drive burned 3:57 off the clock for the 11 play, 31 yard drive.
With less than five minutes in the game, Missouri State jumped back on the scoreboard after Heaston found himself in the end zone after an eight-yard gain. The drive took 2:42 off the clock for nine plays and 80 yards, cutting UNI’s lead to 17-10.
Missouri State went for it on fourth-and-four with 2:14 left in the game, but MSU quarterback Ashton Glaser threw an interception to Omli for his second of the caught interception of the game, giving UNI the ball back on the MSU 17-yard-line. The UNI offense was then able to extinguish the remaining seconds in the game, picking up the 17-10 victory.Post-Game Notes vs. Missouri State
David Johnson scored his first touchdown today against Missouri State since the game against South Dakota (10/19).
Deiondre’ Hall picked up his first career reception against Missouri State, reaching out for a diving catch in the first quarter to give UNI a 20-yard gain and set up David Johnson’s second touchdown.
David Johnson is tied for sixth all-time at UNI in career rushing touchdowns with 30. He needs one more rushing touchdown to break the tie with Carl Boyd who played from 1983-87. He rushed for his 14th career 100+ rushing yard performance, finishing with 167 against Missouri State.
Tate Omli notched a career-high as a Panther against Missouri State, coming away with 17 tackles. He also finished with his first and second interceptions of the season against the Bears. His tackle number is the highest this season for the Panther defensive corps and was just two shy of tying for 10th all-time at UNI for the single-game tackle record.
David Johnson is only the sixth UNI running back to rush for 1,000 or more yards in two seasons. He now has 1,130 rushing yards this season, making it the 22nd time in Panther history that the school has had a 1,000-yard rusher in a single season. He is now sixth all-time at UNI in career rushing yards with 2,973.
UNI forced five turnovers against the Missouri State offense, marking the most forced turnovers this season. The Panthers forced three against McNeese State (9/28) and NDSU (10/5).