Homecoming 2019: Penguins come waddling in

By Adam Warfel, Sports Editor

The homecoming game is set to begin Saturday, Oct. 19 against Youngstown State as the Salukis are looking to pick up their first conference win of the season.

Looking back over the past seasons of homecoming games all the way to 2009, Southern holds an even 5-5 record.

The foe that the Salukis are playing is no stranger to the homecoming game as SIU has played the Penguins twice before in the last 10 years in 2015 and in 2011.

Advertisement

The most frequent opponent that Southern has clashed with in the homecoming game the last 10 years is Indiana State.

The Sycamores won the homecoming game, last season, over the Dawgs, 24-21, as SIU scored two touchdowns in the last eight minutes of the game, but it proved not to be enough.

Looking ahead to the opponent Southern will be facing this year in the homecoming game, Youngstown State nearly upset South Dakota State this past weekend taking a lead into the fourth quarter.

The Penguins are waddling into Saluki Stadium with a 4-2 record and also in search of their first conference win after losing to both UNI and South Dakota State to open their conference play.

In the first two conference games, the defense of Southern has given up 763 yards of offense total, while the Salukis offense has put up 562 yards and scored 17 points over their last two games.

Head coach Nick Hill said, after the Illinois State game, despite the fact that senior running back James Robinson put up 150 rushing yards on the SIU defense, they were able to contain him well.

“He had 34 carries for 154 yards, a long of 20 that was the first carry of I think the game or second carry,” Hill said. “[We] made him earn every yard. He still got his average off, [but we] limited his explosive plays.”

Sophomore quarterback Stone Labanowitz could be back for this game as Hill said he could be back in practice this week.

“Stone started throwing the football this week,” Hill said. “Lifting and doing some more in his progression, could probably see him back in practice this week.”

Senior running back DJ Davis has been out with an elbow injury, and is expected to return this week as well.

“I know DJ will be cleared, and he gets to practice [Sunday],” Hill said. “You’ll see DJ, he was able to do some non-contact stuff last week.”

Freshman running back Romier Elliot has played in the absence of Davis, and Hill said Elliot runs with power.

“Romier is a good player, he runs with power,” Hill said. “I think you’re getting glimpses of a really good running back that will be around here for a really long time.”

If the defense can hold Youngstown to 20 points or less and the offense can capitalize on each of their red-zone appearances, then the Salukis may be able to walk away with the homecoming victory.

Kickoff for the homecoming game is set for 2 p.m. with the homecoming parade starting at 10 a.m.

Sports Editor Adam Warfel can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @warfel_adam.

To stay up to date with all your southern Illinois sports news, follow the Daily Egyptian on Facebook and Twitter.

Advertisement