Eastern Illinois Defense Stymie Sycamores 27-0

Eastern Illinois Defense Strong in win/ISU offense Inept

by: Steven Stremming, Excel H Sports/Football Writers Association of America

photos by; Anthony Harper, Indiana Sports Network

On a pleasant Thursday night in Memorial Stadium, home of the Indiana State University Sycamores, the 2023 college football season began against Charleston, Illinois rival Eastern Illinois.

The season started for the Curt Mallory led Sycamores with redshirt sophomore, Cade Chambers unable to participate due to a setback from practice on Monday.

Eastern Illinois took advantage on the defensive side of the line of scrimmage as they forced an early punt and then Arvala, Colorado redshirt Junior Pierce Holley hit Powder Springs, Georgia, 6’5, sophomore Justin Bowick with a 35-yard touchdown strike that put the Panthers up six to nothing after a misguided extra point attempt.

From that point on the Sycamores were in hole they never could get out of, as backup, redshirt Junior Gavin Screws was not up to task and quite frankly, looked inept on the offensive side of the line of scrimmage.

The Sycamores would turn the ball over six times for the game.

Screws threw two strikes, but they were to an Eastern defender who promptly returned them for scores.

One pick six was recorded by Olympia Falls, Illinois (Rich Central), Tyris Harvey for 19 yards and another to Nijay Burt, Munhall, Pennsylvania who dashed down the sidelines and across the field for a 67 yard interception.

Eastern followed up that with a safety to run the score to 20 to zero before a final touchdown in the third quarter, again from Holley to 6’4, redshirt Junior, Anthony Manaves increased the lead to twenty-seven points.

Redshirt Sophomore Evan Olaes, Las Vegas, Nevada, Colorado State accounted for sixty yards on nine rushes from the quarterback slot while Korbin Allen, a redshirt sophomore from Brazil, Indiana (Northview) put up 29 yards on the ground in five carries late in the game while returnees Tee Hodge rushed for 21 yards on eight carries and Justin Dinka rushed for eighteen yards for the Sycamore offense.

Dakota Carton caught six passes for 70 yards to lead the Sycamores and 78 yards in kick0ff returns.

Kevin Daniels led Eastern with 62 yards rushing while Cooper Willmanm accounted for 58 yards, Eli Mizra 82 yards, Justin Bowick 61 yards among the 244 passing yards for the Panthers.

Pierce Holley completed 19 of 30 passes for 244 yards.

Indiana State now travels to Bloomington to take on the Hoosier Friday night September 8th while Eastern travels to Bowling Green next Saturday.


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