Western Illinois leads SIU football at halftime, 24-14
After a solid first quarter, SIU football couldn’t catch a break Saturday in the second against Western Illinois.
SIU squandered a 14-3 lead and allowed Western to score 21 unanswered points to take a 24-14 halftime lead on the Salukis’ senior day.
The Saluki defense looked good early as junior cornerback Craig James was able to come up with an interception on Western’s opening drive.
Three plays later, SIU sophomore quarterback Sam Straub found freshman running back D.J. Davis for a 13-yard touchdown for the first score of the game.
On Western’s next drive, James would be called for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that extended the drive and resulted in a field goal.
After being stopped at the 21-yard line on 4th-and-2, SIU converted a fake field goal to keep the drive alive. That led to Straub passing to senior receiver Israel Lamprakes for the Salukis’ second touchdown.
Lamprakes was having a strong final showing as a Saluki with three catches for 51 yards.
SIU would have that 14-3 lead going into the second quarter. Then the wheels fell off.
Sophomore quarterback Sean McGuire would run in Western’s first touchdown after Straub fumbled the ball on a hand-off attempt inside its own 20-yard line.
After Straub threw an interception to freshmen defensive back Mike Viti, WIU would immediately take the lead at 17-14 on a 59-yard pass by McGuire to sophomore running back Steve McShane.
McGuire finished the half completing 14 of his 21 passes for 212 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.
WIU continued to take advantage of their second opportunities.
Western had a fumble overturned and quickly marched down the field for its third straight touchdown, this one a three-yard pass to senior wide receiver Lance Lenoir.
SIU had a chance to end the half on a positive note, but senior kicker Austin Johnson missed a 42-yard field goal as time expired in the first half.
After allowing only 104 yards of total offense in the first, the Saluki defense allowed Western to march for 190 in the second. SIU only earned 71 yards in that same time.
The Salukis will receive the ball to start the second half.