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Salukis crushed by South Dakota 49-14 on the road

Chris Barron
Carbondale Times 

The 2017 Saluki Football team is on a pigskin cusp after the Salukis were dominated by Missouri Valley Football Conference mate South Dakota State 49-14. 

It was the tale of two halves for the slumping Dawgs, which have now lost three in a row, including two consecutive in Valley play.

Two weeks ago, the Dawgs lost a game it could have won against Northern Iowa by making mistakes when they had possession of the ball in the Panther red zone. In Saturday’s fiasco, the Jackrabbits didn’t allow the Salukis any opportunities to get in the game.

“They (SDSU) won the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball,” said Saluki head coach Nick Hill. “There is no excuse for giving up that many rushing yards (368). When you make it that easy for anyone, it’s going to be a long night.”

SIU’s defensive line could not stop South Dakota’s runs between the tackles or protect the edge on sweeps. There were few defensive tackles at or behind the line of scrimmage as the defensive line was consistently pushed five yards off the ball as the Jacks scored on its first five possessions for a 35-0 halftime lead.

“The game was over in the first half,” said Hill. “We couldn’t stop them and couldn’t do anything on offense to get the momentum back to make it a shootout.” 

In fact, the only shooting SIU did was aimed at their own foot. Two of the Salukis first three drives went three and out and the third ended with an interception.

“I have no excuses for my play (179 yards passing, one touchdown and two interceptions.),” Saluki starting quarterback Sam Straub said. “And we as a team just got physically dominated.”

Other factors leading to the blowout may have been hyper-motivation by a Jack team that lost a disappointing match the week before, and also injuries to many key Saluki players.

SIU was without defensive tackle Malik Haynes, tight end Jake Varble for the game and during the game starting cornerback Tory Lewis was also injured. 

“We came out tonight and played as near perfect in the first half as I have ever seen us play,” said South Dakota head coach John Stiegelmeir.

The Jackrabbits’ running game was nearly flawless. Running back Brady Mengarelli had been averaging about 60 to 70 yards rushing per game, but he zoomed for 220 yards and two touchdowns against the seemingly helpless Saluki defensive line.

“I don’t think South Dakota State was any more special than, say, Memphis,” said Straub. “We just did not play our game.” 

Now the Dawgs have to get ready for its homecoming opponent Illinois State Redbirds. That kickoff is at 2 p.m. at Saluki Stadium. 

Crusaders force two pick-sixes for 48-21 win

Chris Barron
Carbondale Times

Size is important. 

Carbondale has athletes, but the Belleville Althoff Crusaders football team had plenty of size Friday night. 

The Crusaders started 6-foot, 5-inch, 295-pound Jordyn Slaughter and 6-foot, 8-inch, 340-pound Patrick Ahrens at the offensive tackle positions Friday and equally elephantine players on its defensive line. 

Friday night’s game was fairly even in the first half, but the size difference seemed to wear on the Terriers in the final two quarters.

“We had great effort out there tonight,” said Carbondale Coach Bryan Lee. “But their size wore us down by the latter part of the game.”

Even though the Terriers had been shocked by a one-game suspension of quarterback Jakeba Burleigh and his backup Seth Germann leaving the team this past week, little-used senior Seth Ousley stepped up a did a more than credible job behind center.

Ousley (who usually plays DB) threw for 128 yards. Carbondale wide receiver Shandon Scott-Rivers caught four of Ousley’s tosses. Carbondale could never get their running game going, (only 33 total yards rushing) and turnovers were very costly.

In the first quarter, Belleville jumped on top at the 8:58 point when Althoff kicking Phenom Stone Galloway banged a 42-yard field goal to make it 3-0 Crusaders. At least the Terrier defense held the prolific Althoff offense to a field goal. In fact, the only touchdown for Althoff had until very late in the second quarter was the result of a Terrier turnover.

With 24 seconds left in the first quarter, SIU recruit Justin Strong took a blocked Terrier punt to the house to make it 10-0 Crusaders at the end of one.

At the 10:19 point of the second quarter, Carbondale defensive back Tavaris Macklin picked up a Crusader fumble and returned the favor, running 55 yards with the Belleville turnover to make it 10-6 Belleville. 

But Strong struck again. This time he intercepted an Ousley pass and returned it 75 yards to make the score 17-6 Belleville. That was the prelude to a wild end to the second quarter as Ousley to Scott-Rivers made it 17-14 Althoff. 

Then, with 5:14 left in the first half, Strong got his third touchdown on offense this time, with a 17-yard rushing score. 

And that, (24-14) was as close as the game was the rest of the way. It was 27-14 after three quarters. 

Then the roof caved in the fourth when the Terriers defense was obviously gassed.

Belleville outscored Carbondale 21-7 in that last period. Strong picked off another pass for a score and Belleville’s running back Richard Cosey had a 10-yard scoring jaunt. Cosey led all rushers with 121 yards.

Strong said the Carbondale game was a high priority for his team since the week before his Crusaders had been upset by Centralia.

“We didn’t take the Centralia game as seriously as we should have and so we got beat (21-14),” said Strong.

Next up for the Terriers are two straight home games. This coming Friday night Carbondale meets South Seven Conference co-leader Marion and then finish the season with a home contest against Harrisburg Oct. 20. 

 

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