Western Illinois Football: Leathernecks Close Out 2019 Schedule at UNI


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The Western Illinois football team wrapped its 2019 schedule in a 38-7 setback on the road at No. 9/10 Northern Iowa Saturday (Nov. 23). 

“They are obviously a great football team, very good front, and they just started grinding us out, there in the second half,” said head coach Jared Elliott. “Our guys fought. We’re not very deep on the [defensive line] and that front seven, but they fought and fought. 

“There’s some things I think we could have done a little differently, especially in the second half, to give us a chance. We needed to threaten vertically a little more. We were efficient throwing the ball, but we weren’t productive. There’s a lot, really in every phase, that we can control, and until we can get those things corrected, it’s very difficult to beat a ‘Top 10’ football team on the road. I was proud of the first half; our guys battled, came out with the right energy, mindset, played physical, but consistency is what we’re lacking.” 

The Panthers ate seven minutes off the clock on their opening drive and converted a Leatherneck fumble into seven points. The ninth-ranked team scored 17 before the half, where it held a 10-point advantage.

Western found the end zone on the feet/quick hands of four Leathernecks playing in the final collegiate game. 

The score was a quick response to UNI’s opening possession and began with Jared Drake’s 28-yard kick return.  A 3:54 drive ensued, featuring plays from seniors Drake, George Wahee,  Max Norris, and Matt Clark. WIU looked to its active leading rusher to punch it into the endzone, and Norris finished a four-yard rush for his 10th career touchdown. 

With a 52-yard field goal already under his belt, Nathan Erickson was tested from an additional yard out, and the attempt fell on target but a foot short of the post. The field goal would have tied the game at 10-all with 5:22 left before the half.     

UNI held Western scoreless through the final three quarters while managing a 355-240 advantage in total offense. 

Seniors Drake, Erickson, Norris, Wahee, Eric CarreraMatt ClarkZach GlisanKevin JohnsonLaCale LondonTom RehfeldDeontez ThompsonJoe Turk,  and Chris Zobrist all played in their final collegiate football game. 

“For these guys, they literally had 60 minutes of football left in their life, and I thought they played with the truest emotion. I wish the outcome was different for those guys, but I will say, I’m proud of how they fought and battled.” 

Western finished its season with a 1-12 record, 1-6 in Missouri Valley Conference action. 

•    Carrera and Rehfeld finished with a career-high 13 and 11 tackles, respectively
•    Adam Fellner recorded a career-long, 64-yard punt
•    Max Norris’ four-year career ends with 1,054 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns
•    Justin Hall ranks sixth all-time in single-season history with 660 kick return yards
•    Clint Ratkovich notched his 1,000th career receiving yard this season and will enter his senior campaign with 1,204

Spread the word

Trending Now

Featured Sports Podcasts

Choose a Category

Continue Reading