In his first career start, sophomore quarterback Eli Dunne racked up a career-high 418 yards and two touchdowns while leading the UNI Panthers to a 61-7 win over Missouri State at the UNI-Dome Saturday afternoon (Oct. 22, 2016).

Dunne’s completed his first 12 passes and finished 25-33-0 with two scores, getting a total of 10 players at least one catch in the game.

Two of Dunne's completions went to Trevor Allen, who finished with 108 yards and a 61-yard touchdown. Daurice Fountain also had four catches for 87 yards with J’Veyon Browning leading the Panthers on the ground with 50 yards.

Dunne wasn’t the only star of the show with the defense holding the Bears to just 81 rushing yards on the day, the fifth time UNI has held an opponent under 100 yards rushing. UNI finished the game with three interceptions, including two pick-sixes from Elijah Campbell and Duncan Ferch.

The Panthers (3-4 overall, 2-2 MVFC) got off to a quick start, thanks in part to A.J. Allen, who picked off Missouri State’s first pass of the game. A. Allen put UNI on the MSU two-yard-line and after a goal-line stand from the Bears, UNI settled on an 18-yard field goal from Austin Errthum to take a 3-0 lead with 12:52 left in the first quarter.

UNI didn’t slow down on either side of the ball after the field goal, only allowing three Missouri State (3-4, 1-3) first downs in the first quarter. UNI jumped out to a 17-0 lead to end the quarter after Michael Malloy punched in two one-yard rushing touchdowns.

Malloy’s first touchdown of the game came at the end of a six-play, 71 yard drive that started with a 47-yard pass to T. Allen from Dunne to get UNI in MSU territory. On UNI’s next offensive drive, the Panthers drove down field for 61 yards after another strong stand from the UNI defense, ending with a leaping Malloy over the pile to put UNI up 17-0 with 3:03 on the clock.

The scoring didn’t stop for the Panthers, putting more points on the board to start the second quarter. Tyvis Smith found his way into the end zone this time, adding the third rushing score of the game. His eight-yard rushing touchdown ended a seven-play, 79-yard drive that burned 2:56 off the clock, giving UNI a 24-0 lead with 13:07 left to play in the quarter.

The Panthers saw another Allen brother come up with a big play in the second quarter, with Trevor scoring his second touchdown of the season. The redshirt freshman was found open on the sideline by Dunne, with the Waukee, Iowa, native turning it into a 61-yard touchdown reception, putting UNI up 31-0 with 7:57 on the clock. It ended a 90-yard drive for five plays and 2:22 off the clock.

The Panthers kept rolling into the second half with Jalen Rima scoring his first-career touchdown in the Purple and Old Gold at the 9:43 mark in the third quarter. Dunne found Rima open for a 17-yard passing score, ending a five-play, 55-yard drive.

UNI added to the score just seconds later when Campbell came up with his first interception as a Panther, running it back 42 yards to the house. The St. Paul, Minn., native recorded UNI’s 12th interception of the season and the second of the game, putting UNI up 47-7 with 9:22 remaining in the quarter.

Pick-sixes became a habit for the Panthers in the third quarter, with Ferch scoring UNI’s second of the game with just eight seconds left to play in the quarter. It was Ferch’s second interception return for a touchdown this season, returning it for 23 yards to the end zone to give UNI a 54-7 advantage.

UNI’s final touchdown of the game came at the hands of Browning, the Panthers’ fourth running back to score against the Bears. The Kansas City, Kan., native notched an 11-yard rushing score with 2:27 left in the fourth quarter, giving UNI its 61-7 win.

UP NEXT: UNI returns to action on Saturday (Oct. 29} when the Panthers host the North Dakota State Bison for their Black Out game. The game is set for 6 p.m. at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls.


Courtesy: UNI Athletics MediaRoom