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UNI beats Missouri State, 38-24

logo_uni_panthersCEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa football team picked up a 38-24 victory over the Missouri State Bears on Senior Night to close out regular season play Saturday. UNI improved its record to 8-4 overall and 6-2 in league play.

The Panthers were led by senior David Johnson, who finished with a career-high 205 rushing yards and three touchdowns. All five of UNI’s touchdowns against the Bears came from rushing plays, with Darrian Miller and Chad Owens both notching touchdowns of their own.

On the defensive side of the ball, Brett McMakin led both teams with 10 tackles, including half a sack for a loss of two yards. Jake Farley added nine tackles on senior night, followed by seven from fellow senior Xavier Williams. Isaac Ales also shined for the UNI defense, posting six tackles, four of them being for a loss of 19 yards.

Missouri State struck first with 12:57 on the clock in the first quarter. MSU’s Phoenix Johnson broke free for a 24-yard rushing touchdown, ending a 2:03 drive for six plays and 70 yards to take a 7-0 lead.

UNI’s Johnson tied the score 7-7 late in the first quarter, rushing into the end zone for a six-yard rushing score. The drive took 1:32 off the clock for four plays and 35 yards.

Miller added to the Panther rushing statistics with 3:53 left in the second quarter when he broke open on the sideline for a 25-yard rushing touchdown to give UNI a 14-7 lead. The drive burned 2:56 off the clock for six plays and 52 yards.

The Bears continued to put pressure on UNI, tying the score again with 39 seconds left in the half. Bear’s running back Johnson notched his second rushing touchdown of the game, scoring off a 6-yard rush to end a 3:14 drive for nine plays and 74 yards.

UNI’s senior running back Johnson answered with his own second score of the game, giving UNI back the lead. His 31-yard rush into the end zone gave UNI a 21-14 lead heading into halftime. The drive took 39 seconds off the clock for five plays and 56 yards.

Michael Schmadeke added to UNI’s lead with 12:14 left in the third quarter after knocking in a 41-yard field goal to make the score 24-14. The field goal ended a six play, 51-yard drive that took 2:46 off the clock.

Missouri State scored its third rushing touchdown of the game with 9:31 on the clock in the third quarter, cutting UNI’s lead to 24-21. Calan Crowder rushed eight yards for the score to end a 2:43 drive for six plays and 81 yards.

UNI jumped out to a 10-point lead when Johnson scored his third rushing touchdown of the game, breaking free for a nine-yard rush. The score gave UNI a 31-21 lead, burning 2:37 off the clock for six plays and 82 yards.

The Bears made it a seven-point game at the 8:25 mark in the fourth quarter when Marcelo Bonani converted on a 28-yard field goal attempt, making the score 31-24. The drive was the longest of the game, lasting 5:52 for 15 plays and 59 yards.

Owens notched his first-career rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter after Carnes pitched the ball to a rushing Owens, giving him a seven-yard rushing touchdown. The score ended an eight play, 75-yard drive.

Owens touchdown was scored with less than five minutes left in the fourth quarter and would be the last points of the game, giving UNI the 38-24 win.

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