Missouri Valley Football Conference Week 10 Review

Northern Iowa WR Suni Lane catches one of his two TD passes in helping lead the Panthers to a win at Illinois State. (Courtesy of UNI Athletics)

Four of the five games this week had the road team win in Week 10 of MVFC play and previously winless Western

Illinois was the lone home team to pick up a victory this week.

North Dakota State remained undefeated in both conference play and overall with its blowout win at Youngstown State 56-17 in a game that most starters were out of the game in the third quarter.  Freshman QB Trey Lance was 7 of 9 passing for 160 yards and three touchdowns for the Bison, who improved to 9-0 overall and 5-0 in the conference with their 30th straight win overall.  Freshman RB Kobe Johnson had six carries for 103 yards including a 75-yard touchdown run. He also scored on a 94-yard kickoff return and finished with 241 all-purpose yards.

The biggest game of the day was Northern Iowa visiting Illinois State.  The Panthers showed a defining win in picking up the team’s first road victory.  UNI played its most complete game of the season, dominating both sides of the ball en route to a 27-10 win.  Offensively, the Will McElvain tied his career-high three TD passes, including two to Suni Lane to lead UNI on the offensive side. He was 14-28 for 189 and three TDs. Isaiah Weston tallied a team-high 68 yards on five catches but was held out of the end zone for the first time since week one’s loss to Iowa State.

South Dakota State rebounded from last week’s Dakota Marker loss to NDSU and also its loss of QB J’Bore Gibbs, who was lost for the season with a knee injury.  cored the first 21 points of the afternoon and racked up 526 yards of total offense for the game, while the SDSU defense forced three turnovers, held the Bears scoreless for three quarters and permitted just 249 yards in all in its 35-14 victory.  WR Cade Johnson hauled in five catches for 164 yards, including a back-breaking 89-yard scoring catch to help seal the outcome, while RBs Pierre Strong and C.J. Wilson combined for 196 yards on the ground to lead the Jacks’ offense.

A stout defense and another big day on the ground on offense sparked Southern Illinois to its third-straight win — a 23-14 victory at Indiana State.  SIU is making a strong push towards a playoff spot.  The Salukis were headed by  senior RB D.J. Davis, who had a season-high 160 yards on the ground, putting him over 5,000 career all-purpose yards.

Western Illinois won its first game in all most one full calendar year with its 38-34 win over South Dakota and in doing so dashing USD’s playoff chances.  QB Connor Sampson passed for a career-high 368 yards and orchestrated three fourth-quarter touchdown drives to rally the Leathernecks.  The two teams combined for 378 yards and five touchdowns during a fourth quarter that had five lead changes.

Below are the video highlights of the five MVFC contests and a full recap in the hyperlink of the score.

North Dakota State 56  Youngstown State 17 (Youngstown, Ohio)

Northern Iowa 27  Illinois State 17 (Normal, Ill.)

South Dakota State 35  Missouri State 14 (Springfield, Mo.)

Southern Illinois 23  Indiana State 14 (Terre Haute, Ind.)

Western Illinois 38  South Dakota 34 (Macomb, Ill.)

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