Category: Game Summaries

Saluki’s Race Past the Racers on Family Weekend


By Patrick Codo

The Southern Illinois Saluki football team played host to the Murray State Racers on family weekend. So the Dawgs wanted to give all the families a good game. Well they did just that by destroying the Racers 50-17 to put them at a record of 2-1. It was also the 6th annual blackout cancer game as all of the players showed their support of cancer.

Freshman D.J. Davis started things off by returning the opening kickoff 98 yards for the first touchdown of the game and the Saluki’s rolled from there. Although D.J. knew this win was not just for him, it was also for his family and especially his Aunt Lisa, who was shot and killed last week. He thanked his blockers and coaches and dedicated this return to his aunt. Here’s what Davis said about the return. Davis stated “We’ve been practicing that all week, “I just said to myself, ‘If they kick it to us, we need to take it to the house.” That is exactly what Davis did and the Saluki’s have been rolling from there.

The team was able to click on all cylinders. Josh Straughan threw for 289 and 4 touchdowns. Those 4 touchdowns were the most since Mark Ionnatti threw 4 touchdowns against the Indiana Hoosiers in September of 2015. That ties Starughan for third in most passing touchdowns in a single game in SIU history and marks the 18th time a saluki quarterback has thrown 4 touchdowns or more in a single contest. The Saluki’s were able to build up a 24-10 lead after the first quarter, and had a 38-10 lead at halftime. The running game for the Saluki’s was on point as Daquan Isom ran for over 100 yards and Cameron Walter was able to shut the door for the Saluki’s by having a 50-yard touchdown run give the Saluki’s a safe 50-17 lead. The defense was playing lockdown on the Racers all night. Chase Allen had ten tackles which tied him with Tom Anderson for 17th on the Salukis all-time list with 276 tackles.

For the Racers it was a down night, even though the offense did look pretty average, they still could not find their swagger as this loss drops them to 0-3 on the season.

The Saluki’s will have a bye week this week, but they will start Missouri Valley Conference play the following week at Northern Iowa on October 1st 2016 at 4pm and the Racers will open up Ohio Valley Conference play by hosting South East Missouri State next Saturday September 24th at 6pm.

SIU vs SEMO


by Claire Patri

Well, the SIU Salukis have won there first home game of the 2016 year! This is a groundbreaking accomplishment for Head Coach Nick Hill out of Du Quoin, Illinois. He as a Southern Illinois University alum and past quarter back for the Salukis can now say he was worth bringing on to the SIU athletic department in football. I guess his playing experience leading the conference in passing yards-­per-game with 2226.8, total offense with 252.3 and ranked second in passing efficiency (167.1) during his heyday has been translated into coaching skill while the Salukis took Southeast Missouri University 30­-22 Saturday September 10th at Salukis Stadium. Overall, this home opening victory against SEMO gave attendance of 10,003 Salukis fans a great show up match between Hill and SEMO Head Coach Tom Matukewicz.

Sophomore Da’Quan Isom spilled through tackles due to his willingness and strength as Hill’s star running back. Senior Israel Lamprakes throw a little wide for Isom to catch, but also shows his heart as Hill’s star wide receiver. The first half started with a fumble by SEMO while they blew right past the Southern offensive line with their strong defense. This was a reoccurring situation of fumbles and penalties between SEMO 14­94 and SIU 8­92 overall when the game was over. Fumble two out of SEMO fumbles lost 2­1 and 1­0 SIU, was intercepted by SIU number 83 Redshirt Freshmen Jacob Varble out of Jerseyville, ILL. With 7:31secs left in the first quarter the Salukis were not on the score board at 0­3 SEMO. Ending the first quarter with Hill giving a youthful sprint down the field when there were not enough of his defenders on the field to begin the final play, getting the attention of the referee at 3­9 SEMO leading.

Senior wide receiver Billy Reed out of Lockport, ILL also ended the first half with a incomplete to Wide receiver Sophomore Jimmy Jones with two defenders in front of him before SEMO tackle with 3 minutes left on the clock. Going into the second quarter the Salukis kept shooting themselves in the foot with incomplete and penalties. Remarkably, Sophomore Wide receiver Darrell James out of Fort Worth, Texas produced a great play, losing his shoe in the process but kept running for yardage coverage. Hill also liked as it seemed to tell Salukis to get in the pistol formation second and eight with 14:30secs left in the second quarter. There was also a touchdown by Sophomore runner back Jonathan Mixon. Another reoccurring situation was Hill’s use of the shotgun formation as seen in the second quarter at 8:35secs ending with a flag on the play by Junior Corner back Ryan Neal who was holding the arm of SEMO with a pass interference penalty. SEMO kept eyeing the SIU running back for example in the back field =, but not exactly paying attention to their false starts backing them up 5 yards as Salukis gained momentum.

Senior quarterback Josh Straughan gave SIU their first touchdown in the beginning of the third quarter with Junior wide receiver Conner Iwema turning the game around at 17­9 SIU leading. Surprisingly, a possible injury by SIU with Kyle Newquist out of Elgin, ILL who was in grave pain but was able to walk it off. Then back to back SEMO holding penalty by Freshmen corner back Jamers Ceasar, the SIU roughing the passer penalty by Sophomore outside linebacker Withney Simon, who also feared a possible injury at the 32nd yard line but was able to limp it off. But tremendously, Ceasar pulled through a fantastic highlight for SEMO v. SIU game with a touchdown. There was also a forced touchdown by Iwema who took the game into overtime. After this remarkable touchdown by Ceasar, Senior wide receiver Israel Lamprakes dived for the ball resulting in a possible injury and Sophomore wide receiver Jimmy Jones attempt at what would’ve been SIU third touchdown.

Ultimately, going into the fourth quarter SEMO gains their first touchdown by star player Freshmen wide receiver Kristian Wilkerson out of Memphis, Tenn. while the score stands 27­-15 SIU leading. I felt like the Southeast Missouri offense was beginning to feel a little frustrated because they kept false starting gaining them no points on the score board but more penalties. Hill manipulating the I formation for his players, Jones could have had a possible touchdown but James dropped the ball first and goal in the fourth, ending the play with a time out called by Hill. When both strong SIU defenders and strong SEMO offenders came back to make a play, there was a huge sack by Redhawk Senior wide receiver D.J. Foster.

At the SIU Press Conference, Hill addressed what he was proud of despite a close game. How well do you play in the red zone and can you make them kick field goals over and over again was what Coach Hill asked his defense who he said did a great job getting a take away. Coach Hill said precisely, “Everything feels good when you win a football game, close or not close”.

A Tail of Two-Half’s


by Patrick Codo

The Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos played in the 2016 2017 National Football League opener. Broncos came on top 21-20 after Graham Gano missed the game winning 50-yard field goal. The Panthers lead the Broncos 17-7 at the half, but in the second half the Broncos were able to outscore the Panthers 14-3. These two teams were playing in a rematch from Super Bowl 50 where the Broncos came on top 24-10. This is only the second time in N.F.L. history where two teams played in the Super Bowl and faced off in week 1 the following season. The last two teams to do that, the Vikings and Chiefs. Those 2 teams met in Super Bowl 4 in January of 1970, and the Chiefs came on top 23-7, but in the following season the Vikings came on top 27-10 in the 1970 N.F.L. opener.

Cam Newton had a better performance against the Denver defense than he did in the Super Bowl loss. Newton only completed 18 out of 33 passing attempts for 194 yards, and had a touchdown, but Newton did have some positives in the game. He had a record breaking night by breaking Steve Young’s rushing touchdown record by scoring his forty fourth rushing touchdown in his career. It took Young fifteen seasons to hit forty-three, but for Cam Newton it only took him five. He even broke Young’s record for most career games with a touchdown rushing and passing with thirty-two.

The Broncos had a new starting quarterback play for them in Trevor Siemian. The second year man out of Northwestern played an impressive first game as a pro quarterback. Siemian completed 18 out of 26 passing attempts for 178 yards, threw a touchdown, and had 2 interceptions. C.J. Anderson ran for 92 yards, had 2 touchdowns 1 in the air, and 1 on the ground. Denver’s offense in the first half could not get anything going as the Panthers were able to intercept Siemian threw two interceptions. Although the defense was able to record 3 sacks on Newton. The defense came in clutch in the 4th quarter. According to ESPN, T.J. Ward had something to do with it as he stated, “We wanted to make sure we got to him, every time he ran we tried to put helmet and shoulder pads on him. If you’re not going to slide, we’re going to put something on you. We saw him limping throughout the game, so that running stuff, you can’t do that all game.”

When the fourth quarter came the Panthers were still up 17-7 in the fourth but Siemian threw a touchdown to C.J. Anderson to cut the lead to 17-14. On the Panthers next drive Cam Newton threw an interception to Chris Harris. Then Anderson again gets into the end zone this time on the ground to give the Broncos their first lead of the game 21-17. Late in the game the Denver defense was all over Cam Newton, but the Panthers were able to stay alive after a holding penalty on 4th and 21. Panthers were able to get in field goal range but Graham Gano missed wide left from 50 yards. Broncos held on 21-20.

Newton didn’t want to question the officials about the hard hits he’s been taking. Newton said, “It’s not my job to question the officials, I really like this officiating crew, so it wasn’t something I know they did intentionally. But it’s not fun getting hit in the head.”

The Broncos will play the Colts next on September 18th in Denver while the Panthers will have their first home game against the San Francisco 49ers.

Donets: More shame on the Hardwood


Salukis Still Can’t Get Catch a Break

Sam Donets


CARBONDALE-
It was another agonizing defeat for the Salukis after a poor showing against regional rival Saint Louis University Billikens.

I could write to you all about positives from the game, but this time I can’t. After the Dawgs were upset against one of the worse D-2 school’s in the country, expectations were at a minimal for Tuesday night’s game.

Once again the Salukis were out coached, and were put into a system that has not worked since the 2008-2009 basketball season. It is clear that once games that mattered rolled around, Saluki head coach Chris Lowery has no idea to effectively use his team to win games.

The fans are upset, administration is upset, and more importantly the players are embarrassed. It’s a circle that runs on each other. If the team is doing good, the team has something for the Administration to sell to fans. Fans come to the games provide energy for the team, the team feeds off the energy and win games. If the team comes out flat the fans come in flat, and if the team and fans come out flat, we have a problem with administration as they cannot sell the team back to the fans. Confusing I know, but if one breaks down, the entire system breaks down.

As the Salukis looked to bounce back from a loss to Ohio Dominican in its first test against Coach Rick Majeruse’s SLU Billikens. The Salukis for the second week in a row, took almost 3 minutes to score its first 2 points of the game on a jumper from Junior Jeff Early. The Salukis kept the game close trailing SLU 8-6 at the 12:44 mark, but SLU’s offense took advantage of Southern’s poor play on both sides of the ball.

In the first half of play Freshmen Treg Setty led the way for the Salukis with 6 points coming from 2 Field Goals and 2 Free Throws. Jeff Early and Justin Bocot each had a basket going 1-3 from the field. Those were the only positives come from the first half offense. Yes you read that right, the Salukis only made 4 shots from the floor in the first half, scoring 15 points by shooting 4-22 in Field Goals and 7-9 in Free Throws, an improvement from last week.

Defensively in the first half we can only talk about Freshmen Dantiel Daniels and his 3 blocks. He was stellar under the post doing the best he can to contain the SLU’s offense. Unfortunately he cannot do it all by himself.

As fans started to get upset the Dawg Pound started to slowly dwindle heading into the second half as the entire SIU Arena was dull and again in shock for another poor first half start.

The Salukis didn’t come out any better in the second half. Trailing SLU 37-15, SIU found itself in a panic mode and saw some effort coming from its players for the first few minutes.

The effort did not translate into points.

It took a little more than 2 minutes to get record its first point coming from Diamond Taylor’s free throw. It took the Salukis 11 minutes for them to make a basket thanks to a lay up by Jeff Early. Yes you read that right, 11 minutes went by until a Southern Illinois player scored.

Twenty-four total shots were taken in the second half, only 7 of those went in. All of which with under ten minutes left in the game. Surprisingly enough with the amount of free throws made, SIU outscored the Billikens 27-24 in the second half.

Not much can be said about the second half defense, as Daniels recorded 2 blocks, and Treg Setty had a steal.

The senior leaders of Justin Bocot and Mamadou Seck were held in check and limited in their scoring after both scoring 18 in the first game. Secks 7 points came from the charity. His ability for low post scoring has hit a snag and knowing Seck, he will be the first to admit that he isn’t playing as well as he would like to.
The Salukis have the rest of the week to adjust before their next game this Saturday in Boston against Northeastern. The Huskies are currently 1-1 and coming off a loss to MassU. If there is a game they need to win this season it would be this one, to avenge the brutal 1-point loss from last years season opener.

Player Grade

Seniors

Justin Bocot: Bocot did as much as he could, but the super sensitive refs seemed to be on him more then every other player on the court. His shooting wasn’t as lively as we have seen in the first three games including preseason, but that is because there weren’t many created shot opportunities for him. Overall I think it was a less then average night for him but I expect him to bounce back against Northeastern unless coach Lowery forgets about him on the bench towards the end of the second half…
Mamadou Seck- This was probably one of the worse games I have seen him play. Mamadou missed all four FG attempts but was able to go 7 of 8 from the free throw line. His effort was there; but SLU’s D was able to contain him under the post with multiple 6’11” defenders. If anyone is going to have emotions for the Northeastern game, it will be Mamadou.

Juniors

T.J. Lindsey- Lindsey did the best he could, but he did not get in much during the second half in favor for Freshmen Josh Swan. He looked confused at times, but it may be because this offense and defense is not for him. Lindsey was 1-4 in the field. I still have faith in him running an offense in the future, but until he gets fully comfortable it could get ugly.

Jeff Early- Early hasn’t looked like the player I thought he was going to be. Against SLU he didn’t look as fired up as was against Ohio Dominican to make a play. There was effort coming from him early in the second half, and he did take shots going 2-5 from the field. If he is going to succeed he needs to take better shots. Just like Mamadou Seck last year, it should take a few games until he starts to show complete progress.

Kourtney Goff- Goff only played for 7 minutes and he was over matched in the 7 minutes. He was whistled for a foul and committed a turnover without shooting the ball or picking up an assist. Hopefully next time around he will adjust into the player he was at the JUCO level.

Sophomores

Diamond Taylor- Taylor looked rusty in his first game where he got major minutes but his stat line was unimpressive for the 30 minutes he played going 0-5 in the field and had the Salukis lone Assist. He did see success by drawing fouls and going to the line 8 times making 6 free throws. I can only expect that Diamond will be a starter from here on out.

Freshmen

Treg Setty- Setty had 8 points in the game going 3-8 in the field. His three boards looked cleaned, but some of his D was under a tight microscope from SLU. He likes to take control of the game and shows signs that he will be an impact player in the near future.

Dantiel Daniels- Daniels was stellar on D setting the pace with 5 blocks. Unfortunately his shooting was not there missing all 4 shots and going 3-6 at the line. He did come as advertised playing bigger then his 6’6’’ frame and is already turning heads. If he wants to be the complete player, he needs to work on his shooting game before conference play.
Josh Swan- Swan got major minutes in the 2nd half and looked comfortable running the offense. As most people are speculating he may have won the starting PG spot in place of
T.J. Lindsey. However he has a lot of work to do after not converting any of his shots. He shows promise, just needs to fully adjust to the college game.

Harry Whitt- Whit has become a fan favorite in the Dawg Pound as he got a warm ovation from the crowd when he entered the game with 5 minutes left. It’s kind of a shame that it took Coach Lowery 35 minutes to put in the freshmen big man. He made an immediate impact once he came into the game drawing a foul and making his two free throws. However he played like a freshmen making common mistakes. His up and under shots were unsuccessful but has shown his range when playing defense as he was all over the place. If only the coaching staff knew how to exploit his talents.

Antonio Bryer- Can’t say much about Bryer who only played for two minutes and had a personal foul. I don’t expect him to get much playing time unless an injury happens to one of the forwards. Hey wouldn’t it be cool if for those last five minutes, we saw ALL five freshmen on the court?

Sam Donets is the Sports Director at WIDB.Net He may be contacted via e-mail @ sdonets@siu.edu