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UNI bounced from playoffs, 41-21 by Illinois State

logo_uni_panthersNORMAL, Ill. – The University of Northern Iowa football team scored 21 second half points to rally against the Illinois State Redbirds, but unfortunately couldn’t close the gap, falling 41-21. The Panthers finished the 2014 season with an overall record of 9-5.

UNI scored two fourth quarter touchdowns to cut the Illinois State lead to 13 points, but Illinois State was able to score off a 36-yard pass with 2:04 left in the game to seal the Redbird win.

Sawyer Kollmorgen finished the game 18-31-1 for 234 yards and a touchdown. UNI had eight different players record catches against the Redbirds, with senior Brett LeMaster leading the way with 55 yards and a scoring play.

On the defensive side of the ball, senior Jake Farley led with 13 tackles and two forced fumbles. Xavier Williams added nine tackles and Ray Mitchell finished with eight.

Illinois State was able to score three unanswered touchdowns and a field goal in the first half to take a 24-0 lead heading into halftime. Redbird quarterback Tre Roberson put ILS on the board at the 11:28 mark with a six-yard pass to Camero Meredith for the first touchdown of the game to take a 7-0 lead.

Marshaun Coprich gave the Redbirds their second touchdown of the game, finding the end zone off a one-yard rush, followed by Meredith’s second touchdown of the game with 14:13 left in the second quarter to put Illinois State up 21-0. The Redbirds finished the half with a 45-yard field goal from Nick Aussieker to give them a first half point total of 24.

UNI started the second half with good offensive rhythm, jumping on the scoreboard with 9:50 left in the third quarter. UNI quarterback Sawyer Kollmorgen took hold of the reins in the quarter, rushing for a one-yard touchdown to cut the Illinois State lead to 24-7. The drive lasted 5:10 for 13 plays and 75 yards.

Unfortunately, Illinois State continued to put pressure on the UNI defense, scoring 10 more points in the third quarter off of a 39-yard field goal and a 26-yard pass to Redbird tight end James O’Shaughnessy to put Illinois State up 34-7.

The Panthers continued to fight in the fourth quarter, with David Johnson scoring his 20th touchdown of the season at the 11:57 mark. He finished with a two-yard rushing touchdown to make the score 34-14, ending a 2:35 drive for eight plays and 84 yards.

UNI didn’t waste much time getting another score after Jake Farley forced a fumble off the kickoff to give UNI the ball back on the ILS 20-yard-line. Kollmorgen found LeMaster open in the end zone for a 20-yard passing score to cut the Redbird lead to 34-21 with 11:23 to play in the fourth. The drive only lasted 25 seconds for three plays and 20 yards.

Illinois State scored their final touchdown of the game at the 2:04 mark to seal the playoff win.

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