Daily Egyptian

SIU football earns first conference win in nail-biter against South Dakota (VIDEO)

By Jonathan Thompson

Saluki football finally has a conference win under its belt.

SIU withstood South Dakota’s fourth-quarter comeback bid to defeat the Coyotes 35-28.

Advertisement

The Salukis (3-6, 1-5 Missouri Valley Football Conference) had a 21-point lead entering the final quarter.

Sophomore quarterback Sam Straub (4) looks to make a pass Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016, during the Salukis' 35-28 win against the University of South Dakota Coyotes at Saluki Stadium. (Ryan Michalesko | @photosbylesko)

Sophomore quarterback Sam Straub (4) looks to make a pass Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016, during the Salukis’ 35-28 win against the South Dakota Coyotes at Saluki Stadium. (Ryan Michalesko | @photosbylesko)

A 34-yard rush by sophomore running back Michael Fredrick kept South Dakota (4-5, 3-3 MVFC) in striking range to make the score 35-21 with 7:30 left to play.

With 2:35 left to play, junior receiver Alonge Brooks caught a 27-yard pass from junior quarterback Chris Streveler for a South Dakota score that cut SIU’s lead to seven.

The Salukis were unable to extend their lead in the corresponding drive and had to give the ball back to the Coyotes.

After three pass interference penalties, South Dakota reached the five-yard line and ran four plays, one even after the game was presumed to be over, but was unable to punch it in.

Both teams had converged on the field to shake hands after the clock struck zero the first time, but officials were performing an unannounced review and deemed there was a second left in the game for the Coyotes to have one final play.

“I thought the game was over,” SIU coach Nick Hill said. “I went over there and started a conversation with coach [Bob] Nielson … talked to players I knew on the team, came over got the team to sing the school song. That’s a lot of time to be ran off for them to say we had to come back out and play another play. We didn’t even have coaches in the press box on the last play.”

While the end of the game was rough for the Salukis, most of it was not.

Players burst onto the field Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016, prior to the Salukis' 35-28 win against the University of South Dakota Coyotes at Saluki Stadium. (Ryan Michalesko | @photosbylesko)

SIU got in the scoring column first as sophomore quarterback Sam Straub threw a seven-yard pass to junior fullback Hans Carmien, putting the Salukis up 7-0.

Straub excelled in his first career start in place of benched senior Josh Straughan. Hill said he made the decision to start Straub because the team needed a spark to its offense.

He eclipsed 400 yards of total offense, the first time a Saluki accomplished that since Mark Iannotti did last year against Illinois State.

The sophomore completed 19 of his 34 passes for 339 yards and two touchdowns, adding 68 yards and a touchdown on the ground.

The first year coach said Straub will be the starter next week against Youngstown State.

“I’m proud of Sam,” Hill said. “To be beat out [in a quarterback battle] two years in a row … and be sharp when your number is called … and play the game that he had says a lot about him.”

Overall, SIU outgained the Coyotes 574-444.

Freshman safety Jeremy Chinn (18) brings down Coyote sophomore running back Paul Anderson (25) on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016, during the Salukis' 35-28 win against the University of South Dakota Coyotes at Saluki Stadium. (Ryan Michalesko | @photosbylesko)

SIU freshman safety Jeremy Chinn (18) brings down Coyote sophomore running back Paul Anderson (25) on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016, during the Salukis’ 35-28 win against the South Dakota Coyotes at Saluki Stadium. (Ryan Michalesko | @photosbylesko)

South Dakota wasn’t able to respond to SIU’s touchdown until the second quarter, when Streveler threw a 57-yard pass to Brooks to tie the score at seven.

Redshirt freshman linebacker Airan Reed caught his first career interception in his first start as a Saluki. SIU forced two interceptions in the game.

South Dakota converted only one of its 15 third-down opportunities.

SIU scored two times in the second quarter. Both were runs, one each from junior running backs Jonathan Mixon and Cameron Walter.

The Salukis would lead 21-7 going into halftime.

Senior wide receiver Billy Reed (17) reaches to recieve a pass as South Dakota sophomore defensive back Danny Rambo (26) attempts to intercept Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016, during the Salukis' 35-28 win against the University of South Dakota Coyotes at Saluki Stadium. (Ryan Michalesko | @photosbylesko)

Senior wide receiver Billy Reed (17) reaches to recieve a pass as South Dakota sophomore defensive back Danny Rambo (26) attempts to intercept Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016, during the Salukis’ 35-28 win against the South Dakota Coyotes at Saluki Stadium. (Ryan Michalesko | @photosbylesko)

Senior receiver Israel Lamprakes caught his first touchdown of the game, a 31-yard pass from Straub in the third quarter. It was his second game in a row with a touchdown.

SIU will look to turn the victory into a winning streak at 11 a.m. Saturday at No. 15 Youngstown State in Youngstown, Ohio.

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

To stay up to date with all your SIU football news, follow the Daily Egyptian on Facebook and Twitter.

Advertisement

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




The student news site of Southern Illinois University