Sawyer Kollmorgen had his fourth straight 200-plus yard passing game to begin his career as he tallied 333 yards on 23-of-28 passing against Youngstown State. Chad Owens led the way for the Panthers in receiving yards with 137 yards. David Johnson finished with 84 yards rushing and 76 yards receiving to go along with a school-record tying four touchdowns.
The first quarter turned into an early shootout between the two Missouri Valley Football Conference powerhouses with three touchdowns being scored between the two teams in the first ten minutes of the game.
After a 45-minute rain delay, the Youngstown State Penguins got off to a quick start, scoring on their first drive to give YSU a 7-0 lead, burning five minutes off the clock.
Early in the opening drive for UNI, Kollmorgen connected with Chad Owens for a 22-yard reception to put the Panthers in good field position. UNI evened the score 7-7 when Terrell Sinkfield and Kollmorgen linked up, with Sinkfield breaking several tackles to get into the end zone. The drive ended with seven plays for 77 yards knocking 3:11 off the clock.
Youngstown State took the lead again with 4:16 left in the first quarter giving them a 14-7 advantage over UNI. The Penguins burned 2:21 off the clock with five plays for 80 yards to end the quarter.
The Panther defense made a strong stand to open the second quarter, forcing Youngstown State to a quick three-and-out after a big tackle from Jordan Gacke and Tim Clark.
Youngstown State increased their lead by two touchdowns with 9:26 left in the half off a third-and-one and a 25-yard touchdown pass, giving them the 21-7 lead. The Penguins went for six plays, 46 yards and took 3:23 off the clock.
The UNI defense caught a break late in the second quarter after the Penguins were called back to their 25-yard line on a penalty. Clark came up big again for the Panthers with a huge tackle to force YSU to punt, setting up UNI with good field position with under three minutes left in the half.
Kollmorgen hooked up with Chad Owens for a big 17-yard gain on an important third-and-seven to give the Panthers a first down with 1:19 left in the half. Sinkfield and Kollmorgen linked up again on another big play from the redshirt freshman quarterback for a 30-yard pass putting the Panthers on the Penguin two-yard-line.
David Johnson notched his third receiving touchdown of the season with 27 seconds left in the half cutting the YSU lead to 21-14 after Tyler Sievertsen knocked in the extra point. Johnson made a leaping catch in the end zone for a five-yard touchdown reception to end the half.
Kollmorgen finished the half 11-17 with 146 yards and notched 10 rushing yards. Sinkfield led the way for the Panthers in the air in the first half finishing with 62 yards and a touchdown. Johnson racked up 20 yards on the ground and 21 yards in the air for his fourth consecutive game with a touchdown.
Carlos Anderson opened the second half with a big-time kick-off return for 49-yards giving the Panthers great field position to start the third quarter. Johnson broke free from the Penguin defense to grab his second touchdown of the game with a stellar 48-yard reception to tie the game 21-21 with 14:03 left in the quarter.
After the UNI defense forced the Penguins to punt in their first drive of the third quarter, Anderson went back to work again with two rushes for 18 yards landing the Panthers on the Penguin 46-yard-line setting up the next UNI score.
Johnson ran for his third touchdown of the game to give the Panthers the lead of 28-21 with 8:59 left in the third quarter. Johnson broke through the Penguin defense for a 23-yard gain and his first rushing touchdown of the game and second rushing touchdown of the season.
The Penguins answered late in the quarter to tie the game 28-28 with 4:51 left. YSU took 4:02 off the clock for nine plays and 86 yards.
Owens had a big performance in the second half linking up with Kollmorgen for a 12-yard and 35-yard catch late in the third quarter and a 20-yard catch giving the Panthers a great start to the fourth quarter. Johnson continued his dominance on the field scoring his fourth touchdown of the game with 12:42 left, giving the Panthers a 35-28 lead.
YSU struck again with 7:07 left in the fourth quarter, tying the game 35-35. The YSU offense took 5:28 off the clock with 12 plays for 74 yards. YSU then drove the ball down the field to take the lead at 42-35 with 1:50 left in the fourth quarter after the Panthers couldn’t convert a third down attempt.
Anderson had another big kick-off return of 33 yards to start UNI’s final drive. Kollmorgen found Sinkfield down field for a big 15-yard gain to give the Panthers a first down on the Penguin 42-yard-line with just a little over a minute remaining.
The Panthers drove down the field with a 14-yard catch by Owens and a seven-yard catch by Brett LeMaster to bring the Panthers to the Penguin 11-yard-line, but the Panthers were unable to put points on the board and fell 42-35.
UNI will return to action when they host the North Dakota State Bison on Sat. Sept. 29 in the UNI-Dome. The game is set to kick-off at 6:00 p.m.
Post-Game Notes UNI vs. Youngstown State
- David Johnson has scored a touchdown in every game this season. During the 2011 season, he notched three receiving touchdowns and with his five-yard touchdown reception against the Penguins tonight, he has already exceeded that number in the first four games of the 2012 season.
- In the previous 11 contests between UNI and YSU, four have been decided by four points or fewer, including the previous two meetings.
- The game tonight marks the first time that both teams have been ranked in the top-25 at game since 2007 when then No. 1 ranked UNI beat No. 20 Youngstown State, 14-13.
- UNI’s 11-game winning streak against the Penguins was tied for the third-longest win streak for league members (vs. other members).
- This is the second time this season that David Johnson has walked away with two touchdown receptions. He notched two receiving touchdowns in the Panthers’ season opener at Wisconsin.
- Sawyer Kollmorgen has now thrown for more than 200 yards for the fourth straight game. He finished the game against YSU with 333 yards.
- David Johnson tied the school record for touchdowns in a single game with his four scores against the Penguins. The last time someone from UNI scored four touchdowns in a single game was Tirrell Rennie against Illinois State in 2010.