Story and photo courtesy of Northern Iowa Athletics
VERMILLION, S.D. – The University of Northern Iowa football program won their second consecutive game today when they defeated the South Dakota Coyotes 24-21 in a close MVFC match-up.
Sawyer Kollmorgen finished the game 13 for 24 passing with 158 yards and one touchdown. David Johnson led the Panthers on the ground with 130 yards and three touchdowns with Terrell Sinkfield racking up 77 receiving yards.
The South Dakota Coyotes put up three points early in the game off a 33 yard field goal from placekicker Kevin Robb. The drive ended at the 10:38 mark in the first quarter, knocking 2:52 off the clock for 46 yards and seven plays.
Johnson opened the next drive, blasting through the Coyote defense for a 15-yard gain, putting the Panthers in South Dakota territory. Johnson led the drive all the way to the end zone for his 14th touchdown of the season, scoring off a three-yard rush to give UNI a 7-3 lead with 5:32 left in the first quarter.
The UNI special teams made a strong play off the kick-off, pinning South Dakota inside their own five-yard-line off a big tackle from Wes Smith. Tim Clark added a tackle for loss on the Coyote quarterback to the defensive outing for the Panthers, eventually forcing them to punt out of their end zone.
South Dakota cut the UNI lead to one point to open the second quarter off a 42-yard field goal from Robb. The Coyote drive took 3:43 off the clock for six plays and 22 yards making the score 7-6 in favor of UNI.
South Dakota attempted a 44-yard field goal with 5:02 left in the second quarter when Xavier Williams blocked the kick, giving UNI the ball on their own 27-yard-line.
The Coyotes added to the score with 55 seconds left in the half off a 46-yard touchdown to Will Powell. The drive took 1:45 off the clock for seven plays and 72 yards making it 13-7.
The Panthers made a late drive with Kollmorgen and LeMaster linking up for a big gain off a 33-yard pass, putting them on the USD 37-yard-line. Kollmorgen added to the drive with an 11-yard rush and capping it off with a 20-yard touchdown pass to Johnson to give UNI the 14-13 lead to end the half.
Johnson continued his dominance on the ground in the third quarter when he broke free for a 24-yard rush, putting UNI on the South Dakota 37-yard-line and giving him his fifth straight 100-plus yard game. Following a Kyle Bernard punt, Tim Kilfoy made a great play on special teams when he dove to keep the ball out of the end zone, pinning the Coyotes on their own four-yard-line.
With 32 seconds left in the third quarter, South Dakota missed a 36-yard field goal, turning the ball over on the UNI 20-yard-line. UNI put together a long drive to start the fourth quarter with Carlos Anderson notching an 11-yard gain and Kollmorgen hooking up with Sinkfield for two receptions to the South Dakota 21-yard-line.
Johnson scored his third touchdown of the game with 10:03 left in the fourth quarter off a one-yard rush, giving the Panthers a 21-13 lead. UNI knocked 5:29 off the clock for 12 plays and 80 yards.
Jordan Gacke helped the Panther defense to a pivotal stop when the Coyotes were in a fourth-and-one situation with 7:00 minutes left in the game. On the next UNI drive, Tyler Sievertsen added to the lead with a 32-yard field goal with 3:40 remaining in the game to make the score 24-13.
The Coyotes scored a late fourth quarter touchdown off a one-yard rush from Josh Vander Maten and then added two more points off a two-point conversion to cut the UNI lead to 24-21 with less than a minute remaining.
After an on-side kick, the Panthers recovered the kick to run out the remaining 40 seconds and pick up their fourth win of the season.