Panthers drop heartbreaker 31-28 to South Dakota State - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Panthers drop heartbreaker 31-28 to South Dakota State

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -

 UNI erased a late 14 point deficit, but a South Dakota State field goal in the final 2 minutes would make the difference as the Panthers fell 31-28.

The Jackrabbits, ranked 16th in FCS football, struck first. On a drive that was extended by a Panther penalty, SDSU quarterback Zach Lujan hit Jake Wieneke on a short touchdown pass for a 7-0 lead.

UNI's defense remained stout the rest of the half, as brothers Jared and Jake Farley stopped a couple Jackrabbit drives with an interception each.

David Johnson finally got UNI on the board breaking free on a 50 yard touchdown run. Later, Sawyer Kollmorgen capitalized on a turnover hitting Barkley Hill for a 2 yard touchdown, the first of Hill's Panther career as they'd lead 14-7 at the half.

South Dakota State, however, took over in the next 20 minutes. Zach Zenner scored on a pair of one yard touchdown runs, while Dallas Brown picked off a Kollmorgen pass and returned it 30 yards for a touchdown. The Jackrabbits held a 28-14 lead late in the game.

UNI, however, rallied in the final minutes. David Johnson capped a 74 yard drive with a 2 yard touchdown run, his second score a of the game. A couple minutes later Ray Mitchell picked off a tipped SDSU pass, then used his speed to take it back 58 yards to tie the game at 28 with just over 3 minutes remaining.

The Jackrabbits took back the momentum, driving to the UNI 28, before Justin Syrovatka drilled a 45 yard field goal for the 31-28 lead.

UNI's final drive ended when Brion Carnes threw a deep ball which would get picked off by Melvin Taveras at the 5 ending hopes for a win.

With the loss, 21st ranked UNI fell to 1-2 in the Missouri Valley and 3-4 overall.

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