Daily Egyptian

SIU football loses to Indiana State on homecoming (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

Head+coach+Nick+Hill+reacts+to+a+referee%27s+call+during+the+Salukis%27+homecoming+matchup+against+the+Indiana+State+Sycamores+on+Saturday%2C+Oct.+22%2C+2016%2C+at+Saluki+Stadium.+SIU+lost+the+game+by+a+score+of+22-14.+%28Ryan+Michalesko+%7C+%40photosbylesko%29
Head coach Nick Hill reacts to a referee's call during the Salukis' homecoming matchup against the Indiana State Sycamores on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016, at Saluki Stadium. SIU lost the game by a score of 22-14. (Ryan Michalesko | @photosbylesko)

Head coach Nick Hill reacts to a referee's call during the Salukis' homecoming matchup against the Indiana State Sycamores on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016, at Saluki Stadium. SIU lost the game by a score of 22-14. (Ryan Michalesko | @photosbylesko)

Head coach Nick Hill reacts to a referee's call during the Salukis' homecoming matchup against the Indiana State Sycamores on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016, at Saluki Stadium. SIU lost the game by a score of 22-14. (Ryan Michalesko | @photosbylesko)


The Salukis couldn’t pull off a homecoming miracle as they lost their fourth straight game Saturday in a 22-14 decision to Indiana State.

SIU (2-5, 0-4 Missouri Valley Football Conference) put on arguably its worst offensive performance of the season. The team had a season-low 365 total offensive yards on the game.

Sophomore quarterback Matt DeSomer scored the Salukis’ only touchdown of the first half with a four-yard rush.

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Sophomore quarterback Matt DeSomer (7) works to land a touchdown during the Salukis' homecoming match up against the Indiana State Sycamores on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016, at Saluki Stadium. SIU lost the game by a score of 22-14. (Ryan Michalesko | @photosbylesko)

Sophomore quarterback Matt DeSomer (7) works to land a touchdown during the Salukis’ homecoming match up against the Indiana State Sycamores on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016, at Saluki Stadium. SIU lost the game by a score of 22-14. (Ryan Michalesko | @photosbylesko)

A nine-yard pass from ISU redshirt sophomore Issac Harker to senior Robert Tonyan Jr. scored the Sycamores’ first touchdown of the game.

SIU senior quarterback Josh Straughan was helped off the field after a hard sack late in the second quarter. Straughan was sacked a total of four times in the game.

He returned and finished the game with 250 passing yards, no touchdowns or interceptions.

“Protecting the quarterback is important but you’re going to take hits, especially in this league,” SIU coach Nick Hill said. “I’ve played the position before and I can tell you, you have to be tough. Josh is a tough kid but we’re going to be better about protecting him.”

Indiana State (4-4, 2-3 MVFC) had the only points of the third quarter. Harker connected with Tonyan for another touchdown, this one a 12-yarder. The Sycamores ended the quarter with a 16-7 lead.

In the opening drive of the fourth quarter DeSomer threw to a wide-open Cameron Walter, who dropped the pass after beating the entire defense.

Dropped passes were a big problem for the Salukis late in the game. They tallied four on the game, three of which came in the third quarter.

Senior quarterback Josh Straughan (12) prepares to throw a pass during the Salukis' homecoming matchup against the Indiana State Sycamores on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016, at Saluki Stadium. SIU lost the game by a score of 22-14. (Ryan Michalesko | @photosbylesko)

Harker found junior receiver Miles Thompson for a 85-yard touchdown pass that all but sealed the game for the Sycamores, breaking their lead out to 22-7 with 12:34 to go in the fourth.

He finished with 336 yards passing with three touchdowns on the evening.

DeSomer scored and rushed in his second touchdown to make it a one-score game with 10:07 left in the game. He finished with a team-high 40 rushing yards with two touchdowns.

Sycamore freshman kicker Jerry Nunez struggled all game. Nunez had only one made on three tries for the game in addition to two missed extra points.

His missed 22-yard field goal with 3:26 left in the game kept the Salukis’ hopes alive.

SIU’s kicking game was not much better as freshman Matt Sotiropoulos missed two field goals as well.

On the corresponding drive after Nunez’s final miss senior offensive lineman Reid Sealby was ejected from the game after two back-to-back unsportsmanlike conduct penalties.

“Our motto for this program is ‘be a man,'” Hill said. “In that situation no matter what they’re doing to you, you can’t retaliate. You have to be at your best especially in late game situations like that.”

These penalties put the Salukis in a fourth-and-26 situation they couldn’t beat. It would be SIU’s final drive.

The Salukis will take on Missouri State at 2 p.m. Oct. 29 in Springfield, Mo.

Staff writer Jonathon Thompson can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @TheReal_Jt3.

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