COLORADO SPRINGS, CO – Logan Wolf and Sergio Morancy both recorded their second career touchdowns with UNI, but United States Air Force would get the season opener win, 48-17.
Air Force remained unbeaten against FCS opponents and extended its opening day win streak to 16. It was the first meeting between the teams.
UNI led the game in passing with 286 yards compared to Air Force’s 109 yards. However, Air Force lived up to its reputation for rushing, netting 582 yards for a total of 691 in offense.
Deion McShane was UNI’s top receiver, connecting with Theo Day for 106 yards. Dom Williams was UNI’s go-to rusher with 47 yards.
Matthew Cook got UNI on the board with a 28-yard field goal with 4:46 left in the first. He would later have a rare miss at 52 yards in the last play of the game. Cook’s career longest career field goal of 55 yards came against South Dakota State last season.
Punter Cael Loecher made some big plays for UNI, pinning Air Force within their 10-yard line three times.
Korby Sander led the defense in tackles with 11, including six solo tackles. Edwin Dearman had two tackles for a loss to back up the Falcons six yards. Mo Olowo and Caleb Frazer were both credited for one fumble recovery.
After the Panthers’ first score, Air Force took over until UNI closed out with its only two touchdowns of the game.
Q1: Air Force opened with an 80-yard pass from Haaziq Daniels to Dane Kinamon with 9:28 left in the quarter. UNI responded with a 28-yard field goal from Matthew Cook with 4:46 left in the quarter. Dane Kinamon would break free for the Falcons on the final score of the quarter, with a 71-yard run with 3:59 left in the quarter. Air Force led, 14-3 at the end of the quarter
Q2: UNI defense was able to keep Air Force to two field goals until late in the second when quarterback Daniels kept the ball for a 12-yard run to extend the Falcons’ lead heading into halftime, 27-3.
Q3: Air Force’s Brad Roberts had a career long rushing touchdown of 71 yards to open the third quarter. It took the Falcons 50 seconds and two plays to drive 75 yards and extend the lead, 34-3. The next Falcon drive took nearly 11 minutes. Pinned at their 1-yard line, Air Force drove 96 yards in 17 plays to cap it with a one-yard TD run to end the quarter up 41-3.
Q4: Air Force came out strong with an 80-yard rush to score its sixth and final touchdown. UNI responded with two touchdowns of its own with a 10-yard pass from Theo Day to Logan Wolf and a 14-yard pass from Day to Sergio Morancy. Final score: 48-17.
UNI stays on the road with an early MVFC matchup at North Dakota. The Panthers will head to Grand Forks, North Dakota, to face the Fighting Hawks for a 3 p.m. kick Sept. 10.