CEDAR FALLS, Iowa - Even a UNI-Dome white out couldn’t change what has been a dark season for the University of Northern Iowa. UNI quarterback Sawyer Kollmorgen threw three interceptions and was sacked five times in a 33-21 loss to the Illinois State University Redbirds.
Playing without two of his biggest targets, Brett LeMaster (injury) and Terrell Sinkfield(suspension), Kollmorgen completed just 20of his 48 attempts for 218 yards.
“There were some balls thrown to where receivers were supposed to be, and they weren’t there,” Coach Mark Farley said. “A lot of those passes were getting caught early in the season, but they were by six foot three receivers. In the end, you’re playing with the guys you’re playing with, and that’s all that matters.”
UNI dug itself into a 19-0 deficit in the first half before scoring twice in the final three minutes of the second quarter. After Kollmorgen found the endzone on a 6 yard run, an immediate Varmah Sonie interception moved the Panthers into scoring territory. Kollmorgen threw his lone touchdown pass to Chad Owens with just nine seconds left in the half, cutting the deficit to five points at halftime.
The Panthers threatened multiple times in the second half, but ISU never gave up their second half lead.
David Johnson, who rushed for 118 yards, piled his way across the goal line to make the score 26-21, but ISU quarterback Matt Brown answered with his second touchdown pass, this one a 49 yard bomb to James O’Shaughnessy that put the Panthers away for good.
“(Mistakes) played a big factor,” said Johnson, who has now scored a touchdown in every game this season. “It definitely swung the momentum for either team, whichever way that was.”
Brown finished 22-27 with 274 yards a week after becoming the Missouri Valley Football Conference’s all-time passing leader.The Panthers will try to end the season strong, heading to Macomb, Illinois to face Western Illinois University next weekend.