Redbirds and Panthers Tied, 13-13, at End of Third Quarter
Sept. 29, 2007
NORMAL, Ill. - After being down 13-7 at the end of the second quarter, the Redbirds tied the game with 4:38 left in the third quarter when quarterback Luke Drone found wide receiver Jake Rourke with a pass near the UNI 10 yard line that Rourke ran into the end zone for ISU's second touchdown of the game. Rourke's touchdown run was the second of his career and the first of the 2007 season for the junior from Chatham, Ill. With kicker Tyler Funk missing the PAT, the score remained tied at 13-13. Earlier in the quarter, linebacker Bill Hronec recorded his first-career interception off a pass from UNI's Eric Sanders at the Panthers' 39 yard line.
With 136 yards on 21 carries through the end of the third quarter, ISU tailback Geno Blow has now rushed for at least 100 yards in two-straight games. Blow's total rushing yardage through the third quarter also set a career-best, beating his previous mark of 116 set last Saturday (Sept. 22) against Missouri. Also achieving a career mark in the game was linebacker Kye Stewart, who became the 12th player in Illinois State football history to record 300 or more tackles in a career.
Northern Iowa took its first lead of the game with 47 seconds left in the first half when quarterback Eric Sanders found wide receiver Victor Williams in the end zone for a six-yard touchdown pass, concluding a Panther 11-play, 70-yard scoring drive that took 4:21 off the clock. Kicker Billy Hallgren's PAT found its way through the uprights, giving Northern Iowa a 13-7 lead at halftime.
Earlier in the second quarter, Hallgren's leg gave UNI its first points of the game when he kicked in two field goals, to cut the ISU lead to 7-6. Northern Iowa took advantage of two Illinois State miscues, as Drone's pitch to running back Cortes Rice was fumbled, setting up the Panthers' first field goal. Later in the quarter, with the Redbird offense making a drive in its own territory, Drone threw an interception to UNI's Brannon Carter, who returned the ball to the ISU 12 yardline. Despite the strong scoring position, the Panthers were unable to put the ball into the end zone, settling for a 25-yard field goal from Hallgren.
While the defense of both teams dominated early in the first quarter, Blow gave the Redbirds an early 7-0 lead when he took a pass from Drone 50 yards into the end zone to conclude a four-play, 61-yard ISU drive that took 1:57 off the clock. Blow's 50-yard touchdown run was the longest of his career, beating his previous best of 39 yards set against Missouri State Nov. 4, 2006.
Stay tuned to GoRedbirds.com as it provides quarter-by-quarter updates of the Illinois State versus Northern Iowa football game from Hancock Stadium.