Salukis turn it around as SIU defeats Indiana State handily 47-21

By Cole Daily, Staff Reporter

The Southern Illinois football team (7-3; MVC 5-2) traveled to Terre Haute, IN to matchup against the Indiana State Sycamores (4-6; MVC 2-5). The Salukis won 47-21.

The Sycamores received the ball to start the game. They managed to drive the ball down into Salukis territory, but freshman cornerback David Miller intercepted the ball with 12:24 left in the first quarter.

The Salukis managed to convert this turnover into a 24-yard field goal by senior kicker Nico Gualdoni. Southern Illinois took the first lead of the game, 3-0.


SIU’s defense continued to be stifling, forcing Indiana State to punt on their next three drives. The Salukis turned two of those three drives into scores.

The first was a 31-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Nic Baker to junior wide receiver Avante Cox with 3:24 left in the first quarter. Then, Gualdoni kicked in another field goal, this time a 25-yarder, with 11:47 left in the second quarter.

The Salukis went up 13-0 after these drives.

Indiana State got a score on the board with 3:40 left in the second quarter with a passing touchdown from senior quarterback Anthony Thompson to junior wide receiver Dante Hendrix.

The Salukis managed a six-yard touchdown run by junior running back JaVon Willaims as the clock expired. The Salukis failed the two-point conversion after the score.

The halftime score was 19-7, Salukis in front.

The Salukis opened up the second half with senior running back Donnovan Spencer running the ball two yards out for a touchdown. That gave the Salukis a 26-7 lead with 11:12 left in the third quarter.


During the Sycamores drive, senior defensive end Anthony Knighton intercepted the ball and took it 20 yards for the score. This gave the Salukis a 26-point lead, 33-7.

This play gave the Salukis even more momentum than they already had, as the Salukis forced a stop, and the offense was able to drive down the field and make the score 40-7. This was the second Baker-to-Cox touchdown of the day, this time from nine yards out with 8:21 left in the third quarter.

The Sycamores were finally able to get something going with 2:53 left in the second half. They gave their team a sliver of hope with a touchdown pass from Thompson senior wide receiver Rontrez Morgan. The Salukis still held a commanding lead, 40-14.
The Salukis scored a statement touchdown on the opening play of the fourth quarter, with Williams rushing it 43 yards to put SIU up big, 47-14.

Indiana State’s Hendrix scored his second touchdown of the game to make the score 47-21 with 8:40 left in the game.

Southern Illinois started off their next drive with an electric play which was a 48-yard passing play from Baker to freshman wide receiver Izaiah Hartrup. However, Gauldoni missed a 35-yard field goal at the end of the drive.

Miller captured his second interception of the game with 3:17 left in the fourth and this would seal the win for the Salukis. They kneeled the ball during the final minute and ended the game 47-21.

Baker led the way for the Salukis offense 233 yards and two touchdowns. Williams and Cox also made major contributions. Williams with 79 rushing yards and two touchdowns and Cox with four receptions for 48 yards and two touchdowns.

On the defensive side, the cornerbacks shined for SIU. Miller had two interceptions, and senior cornerback PJ Jules led the team in tackles with nine.

The Salukis will play their next game in Saluki Stadium against Youngstown State on Saturday, Nov. 20. This game will be played at noon and is also Southern Illinois’ “senior night” game.

Sports Reporter Cole Daily can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at cdaily_de

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