Football gets chopped down by Indiana State Sycamores

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Football gets chopped down by Indiana State Sycamores

Max Norris runs a route against MSU during the Homecoming game.

Max Norris runs a route against MSU during the Homecoming game.

Becca Langys/ Photo Editor

Max Norris runs a route against MSU during the Homecoming game.

Becca Langys/ Photo Editor

Becca Langys/ Photo Editor

Max Norris runs a route against MSU during the Homecoming game.

Brendan Reidy, Courier Staff

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MACOMB, Ill. — The Western Illinois Fighting Leathernecks (0-6, 0-2) fell to the Indiana State Sycamores (3-3, 1-1) by a score of 20-10.

The struggles for Western Illinois continue, as they fall to Indiana State for the second straight year. The Leathernecks came into the matchup with the Sycamores trying to avenge their season-ending loss a year ago. However, after a strong effort, the team was unable to prevail victorious.

The game got off to a slow start, but things began to pick up quickly. It was all Western Illinois in the first half. They jumped out to a 10-0 lead and held Indiana State scoreless in the first two quarters of play. The Leathernecks seemed poised to make a big jump this week, and get back on track by earning their first victory of the season. The defense was locked in and forced two fumbles in the first half to help the offense prevail with great starting field position. However, the Leathernecks were unable to hold onto their lead coming out for the second half and just looked sloppy.

“We were completely different in the second half than what we were in the first. In the first half, we played the type of football that we wanted. We still left several opportunities out there on offense, but the defense played the way we expect. The second half was just flat out not good enough in every phase. You got to be able to finish when you have a slight lead, and you have to capitalize. We didn’t do that today,” Coach Jared Elliott said to GoLeathernecks.com.

In the second half, it was all about the time of possession, which the Sycamores dominated. In the third quarter, Indiana State had the ball for 10:05, while the Leathernecks only had the ball for 4:55. At the end of the third quarter, things were all knotted up at 10 apiece, and Western Illinois found themselves in a battle down the stretch for another time this season.

In the fourth quarter, the Leathernecks couldn’t get things going, and the Sycamores couldn’t stop their roll. Indiana State would score a touchdown early in the quarter, and kick a field goal late to put Western Illinois away for good.

The Leathernecks were outgained by Indiana State 316 to 214, and lost the time of possession battle 34:41 to 24:19. The Sycamores were able to even up their conference record at 1-1, and Western Illinois would fall to 0-2 in Missouri Valley play.

The Leathernecks will be back in action next week against the Illinois State Redbirds where they will look to get their first win of the season and right the ship in conference play.

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