News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Indiana State University

November 16, 2013

Sycamores' strong second-half effort not enough against Western Illinois

TERRE HAUTE — Indiana State’s football team got a couple of things Saturday afternoon that it hadn’t had in a while — offensive touchdowns and genuine, honest-to-goodness, scare-the-opponent-into-potentially-bad-decisions momentum.

What the Sycamores didn’t get was a victory.

With Trent Lancaster seemingly on his way to sparking a comeback for the ages for the Sycamores, the Western Illinois defense rose up for its only three sacks of the game in the final two minutes and held on for a 21-14 victory in Missouri Valley Football Conference play at Memorial Stadium.

“I’m heartbroken for our players,” coach Mike Sanford of the Sycamores said after the game. “I’d love to be able to say we came back, scored a touchdown at the end and won in overtime … I’m proud of our team; we fought, we competed … we took a positive step today.”

The encouraging latter part of Saturday’s game was a huge contrast to its first 24 minutes. Western Illinois mounted major drives on three of its first four possessions, getting two touchdowns and penalizing itself out of a chance for a third score. After the second touchdown run by bulldozing backup tailback Nikko Watson with 8:51 left in the second quarter, the score was 14-0 and ISU hadn’t yet achieved a first down on offense.

The Sycamores remedied the latter problem when Robert Tonyan Jr. completed a nine-yard pass to Miquel Johns moments later, and a penalty actually gave ISU a first-and-five situation with a chance to get something started.

Instead, the Sycamores committed their own penalty, an unsportsmanlike-conduct flag after the next play, and Tonyan quickly faced third-and-18. He rolled to his right, may have had a chance for running room, but elected to fire a long pass down the sideline. Western’s Martinez Davis got it instead and weaved his way across the field for a 32-yard scoring return and a three-touchdown margin for the visitors.

Then Lancaster entered the game. While his final statistics weren’t gaudy, the effect the former Northview quarterback had on the game was unmistakeable.

ISU didn’t threaten the remainder of the half, but at least picked up a pair of first downs. Western’s last two possessions of the second quarter ended with an interception by Mark Sewall and a punt — after linebacker Jameer Thurman couldn’t handle a pass off the hands of a Western receiver that could have been a pick-six for the Sycamores.

Another foolish penalty cost ISU its first second-half possession, but Lancaster drove the Sycamores to the WIU 20 on the next drive before a fourth-down pass was incomplete.

The Sycamore defense forced back-to-back three-and-outs, however, and after the second one a 10-yard punt — which was not the worst of the day for the Leathernecks in a gusting crosswind — gave ISU the ball at the Leathernecks’ 38.

“The way that Trent came in, slinging the ball around and running, really helped the defense a lot,” linebacker Connor Underwood said after the game.

“The offense feeds off the defense, and the defense feeds off the offense,” defensive tackle Russell Jones added.

Two runs by Buck Logan gave ISU one first down, a sweep by receiver Tanner Riley picked up another and a pass from Lancaster to A.J. Johnson helped set up a third. It took 10 plays to get to the end zone, but Logan found it on a 1-yard run with 2:18 left in the third quarter.

Western Illinois put the 250-pound Watson, the key to both its scoring drives, back into the game and the Leathernecks were inside ISU’s 10-yard line as the quarter ended. But then came a Western penalty, a pass broken up in the end zone by Alex Stowers and a tackle for loss by Jones on a short pass to Western’s starting tailback J.C. Baker.

That made it third-and-goal from the 21, and Western quarterback Trenton Norvell was strip-sacked by Underwood. Brady Collins picked up the ball and rambled 33 yards to the Western 34-yard line.

Lancaster kept ISU’s drive alive by completing a fourth-down pass to Riley, ran for a first down himself, then found Riley all alone in the end zone for a 10-yard touchdown pass with 10:22 left in the game. Eric Heidorn’s second extra point brought ISU within a touchdown, and the Sycamores’ leading rusher and receiver for the year each had his first touchdown.

“When we started scoring, that lifted the defense up,” Lancaster said later, “and they put us in great, great position.”

The visitors put themselves in a first-and-20 situation with a penalty on the first play after the kickoff, but worked the situation back to third-and-1 at their own 34 after Collins and Tyler Stafford stopped Watson on third down. The Leathernecks went for it on fourth-and-1, and this time Watson was successful.

“I think [the Leathernecks] were nervous about punting into the wind,” Sanford said after the game, “but frankly, I thought that was a slap in the face to our defense, which took it personally and rose up.”

Watson wedged his way for five yards on first down, but Sewall came flying up from the secondary to drop him at the line of scrimmage on second-and-5. A short pass set up fourth-and-2, and Sewall led the charge again, dumping Watson for a loss and giving the Sycamores the ball in Western territory.

“Mark Sewall played great,” Sanford said afterward. “We talked this week about belief. These guys had to believe we were going to win, and they did … [Sewall] really believed we were going to win, and he’s devastated right now.”

By the time ISU got the ball back, most of the sparse crowd was also believing. But linebacker Devon Butler intercepted a Lancaster pass to stop the Sycamore drive, and after ISU used its timeouts on defense to get the ball back, Kevin Kintzel led the pass rush that sacked Lancaster three times — with a 25-yard completion to Riley on third-and-22 keeping hopes alive temporarily — and forcing a fumble on the last of them.

“Trent Lancaster is a warrior. I’m very proud of him,” Sanford said later. “At the end of the game we carried him off the field, so I have no idea [how badly he’s injured]. He wasn’t perfect, but he competed hard.”

“Trent stepped up and was a great leader on the field,” said Riley, “and he took some shots.”

“First game back in three, three and a half years,” said Lancaster, who had both a greyshirt season and a redshirt season at ISU since his years at Northview. “It was good to be back and play with these great teammates I’ve been blessed with … we had a couple mistakes on offense, or I think we come out with a different result.”

n Walking wounded — Sanford emphasized injuries are no excuse, but praised several Sycamores who were also in the “warrior” class on Saturday. Offensive guard Adam Masters played the entire game with a high ankle sprain, he said, while Logan was the only running back available most of the game and Riley was forced to play “about five positions.”

Safety Donovan Layne also left the game Saturday with an ankle injury and was in a boot afterward, the coach said. Lancaster said in the postgame press conference that the ISU training staff would have him ready by next Saturday.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Indiana State University
  • SPT 041414 ERINN SUTTON2.jpg Driving to victory

    College golf, Indiana State coach Greg Towne indicated Monday afternoon, is all about the process.

    April 14, 2014 3 Photos

  • QFRGGNSQNGORIUF.jpg ISU losing Ragland to Bowling Green St.

    David Ragland was the first person Indiana State men’s basketball coach Greg Lansing hired to his staff when he became the Sycamores’ head coach in 2010.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Thunder Pacers Basket_Tayl.jpg FROM THE PRESSBOX: In Lance the Pacers trust? Why not?

    The trials and tribulations of the Indiana Pacers are well documented.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT 041314 DELLACAMERA.jpg Sycamores just one shot behind in tourney on familiar turf

    Lack of experience in playing a collegiate women’s golf tournament in their own backyard may not be a hindrance for Indiana State, which finds itself one shot out of the lead — and with room to do better — after Sunday’s first round of the Indiana State Spring Invitational at the Country Club of Terre Haute.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • ISU pushes run across in 9th to beat SIU — again

    Indiana State scored in the ninth inning for a second game in a row Sunday, breaking a tie to defeat host Southern Illinois and win a closely contested Missouri Valley Conference baseball series.

    April 14, 2014

  • SPT040914ISUBB_kudrecki.jpg Indiana State falls to No. 23-ranked IU 8-4 in baseball

    Indiana State’s baseball team tried to walk a double tightrope this week.
    The degree of difficulty was cranked up significantly as the Sycamores played back-to-back games at Vanderbilt and Indiana, both top 25 teams.

    April 10, 2014 3 Photos

  • ISU baseball falls to Vanderbilt 6-2

    The seventh-ranked Vanderbilt Commodores took control early to defeat the Indiana State Sycamores 6-2

    April 9, 2014

  • SPT 040614 TONY ROSSELLI.jpg ISU baseball is deadly with two outs

    One of the many charms of baseball is that there are a thousand different debates about a thousand different topics one can embroil themselves in. One of the most passionate is whether clutch hitting exists.

    April 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT 040614 ROSELLI HOMER.jpg ISU dusts off its broom

    Wichita State’s baseball program has been the bellwether of the Missouri Valley Conference for more than a quarter-century. And 2014 is no different. When a team has success against the Shockers, picked to win the league in the preseason coaches’ poll, it still has cachet.

    April 6, 2014 3 Photos

  • Grant Prusator …nd jones 0.jpg Prusator gives ISU a shooter for 2015

    Grant Prusator, a native of Rochelle, Ill., has made a verbal commitment to play basketball for Indiana State starting in the 2014-15 season. He will have three years of eligibility with the Sycamores as he played just one year for Highland Community College.

    April 4, 2014 1 Photo

  • Metro sports: Locks of Love tournament today at Memorial Stadium

    The Indiana State Women’s Soccer team will host its annual Locks of Love tournament today. The 4th annual event will begin at 9 a.m. at Memorial Stadium.

    April 4, 2014

  • SPT012714ISUWBB laramie.jpg Laramie to transfer from ISU women's basketball program

    Indiana State forward Marina Laramie averaged 9.9 points and started all 32 games as a sophomore for the Sycamores.
    But the 6-foot-2 women’s basketball player will continue her career elsewhere.

    April 3, 2014 2 Photos

  • Metro sports: ISU blanks Austin Peay in 6-plus innings

    Indiana State’s baseball team posted another mid-week victory Wednesday night as four pitchers combined to throw a three-hit shutout and lead a 3-0 victory over Austin Peay State at Bob Warn Field.

    April 2, 2014

  • 20140401_145857.jpg Chicago guard commits to ISU women's basketball

    The Indiana State women’s basketball team picked up a verbal commitment from Chicago guard Kiera Brooks on Tuesday.
    The 5-foot-7 junior for North Lawndale College Prep visited ISU’s campus for the first time, met the team and chose her college home. Brooks averaged 18.7 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals for coach Corey Morgan’s 15-11 squad.

    April 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • Metro sports: ISU’s Stone, Riemenschneider honored by MVC

    Indiana State junior Megan Stone and freshman Brooke Riemenschneider each earned Missouri Valley Conference Athlete of the Week honors, according to an announcement from the league office Monday.

    March 31, 2014

  • SPT 033014 A.J. McELDERRY.jpg Bad day for Sycamores

    Indiana State’s baseball team has had more good days than bad so far this season.
    Sunday, however, was bad in every way.

    March 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT032814 ISUBB hayes.jpg Going the distance: Redbirds ace Savas allows just five hits while shutting down Sycamores

    Indiana State’s pitchers weren’t their best in Friday’s series opener against Illinois State, but it seemed the Sycamores might get away with it. Through seven innings, ISU had issued six walks, gave up six hits and hit a batter, but still trailed by just a run. But ISU’s luck with its generosity would give out in the eighth, and even if it hadn’t, Illinois State standout starter Dan Savas had the Sycamores’ bats in a deep freeze anyway. The Redbirds defeated the Sycamores 5-2 at Bob Warn Field.

    March 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT032614 ISU BB curry.jpg ‘A full night’: Leadoff hitter Curry leads 16-hit attack as Sycamores pound Hoosiers

    Lead-off man Landon Curry had four of Indiana State’s 16 hits Wednesday afternoon, and cleanup hitter Mike Fitzgerald reached for the 17th straight game to lead the Sycamores to a 12-8 victory.

    March 26, 2014 4 Photos

  • ISU committed to making Tonyan a key contributor

    Indiana State’s 1-11 2013 football season was nightmarish in many ways, but one player who had to endure it with eyes more wide open than most was Robert Tonyan Jr.
    Thrust into a much larger role than anticipated at quarterback when Mike Perish was injured in early October, and with injuries occurring all around him as well, the then-redshirt freshman struggled behind center.

    March 26, 2014

  • SPT 032414 ISU FOOTBALL.jpg Fresh start: ISU football team springs into action for coach Sanford’s second season

    Many things change from year one to year two in someone’s coaching regime, but when it comes to football, few things change more dramatically in that span than spring football practice.

    March 24, 2014 4 Photos

  • Aces ride leadoff success to series win over ISU

    The leadoff bullets were flying around at Evansville’s Charles Braun Stadium as Indiana State and Evansville locked up in a Missouri Valley Conference baseball series decider on Sunday.

    March 23, 2014

  • SPT 032314 MEGAN STONE DIVE.jpg ISU stretching to improve softball program

    Some are from as far away as California, or Arizona or Iowa. Some played their high school games a little closer to Terre Haute, such as at North Central or Clay City.

    March 23, 2014 3 Photos

  • ISU loses 63-61 to Marquette in WNIT

    After a Jasmine Grier 3-pointer with four seconds on the clock cut Marquette’s lead to two points, a crazy March ending appeared possible as Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir came up with a steal with just more than a second to go Thursday in Hulman Center
    Abdul-Qaadir had momentum going toward the bucket after her steal but couldn’t get the layup off in time as the Sycamores fell in the first round of the Women’s NIT to the Big East squad, 63-61.

    March 20, 2014

  • SPT 031514 LARAMIE SCORE.jpg Second shot: ISU women seeking better shooting, defense against Marquette in WNIT opener

    Defensive continuity, defensive rebounding and better outside shooting are among the keys for Indiana State in a first-round WNIT basketball game against Marquette tonight in Hulman Center.

    March 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • NIT Indiana St Arkan.jpg Sycamores no match for Hogs

    In the wake of Indiana State’s 91-71 Tuesday loss to Arkansas in the National Invitation Tournament, it was obvious to everyone why ISU coach Greg Lansing feared the matchup against the Razorbacks. They just had too much for the Sycamores to handle.

    March 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT031914 ISUSB stone.jpg Metro sports: Alvarez helps ISU softball gain home sweep

    Junior Yvette Alvarez pitched a complete-game win in the opener and hit her first career home run in the second game to lead the Indiana State softball team to a doubleheader sweep in its home opener Wednesday at Price Field.

    March 19, 2014 3 Photos

  • ISU2.jpg Sycamores eliminated from NIT by Razorbacks

    Arkansas ended ISU’s men’s basketball season with a 91-71 victory in the National Invitation Tournament.

    March 19, 2014 2 Photos 1 Link

  • ISU women's basketball team upbeat getting ready for Marquette

    The disposition of the Indiana State women’s basketball team was upbeat Tuesday as the Sycamores prepare for a WNIT showdown with Marquette on Thursday in Hulman Center.
    Two days off after returning from St. Charles, Mo., where top-seeded ISU was upset by fifth-seeded Drake, ISU coach Teri Moren prepared her team to get a postseason victory.

    March 19, 2014

  • SPT031714odum run.jpg A rapid pace: Arkansas style presents challenge for Sycamores

    Jake Odum has started at point guard for four years at Indiana State. He can claim as much as any Sycamore — past or present — that he’s seen it all. But even Odum hasn’t seen a team attack the game and attack their opponent quite like Arkansas does.

    March 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • ISU women to host Marquette on Thursday in WNIT

    Indiana State’s women’s basketball team will host Marquette on Thursday in the Women’s National Invitation Tournament, the Sycamores learned late Monday night.

    March 18, 2014

Latest News Poll
AP Video
Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Today in History for April 18th Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Author Gabriel Garcia Marquez Dead at 87 Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show Captain of Sunken South Korean Ferry Apologizes
NDN Video
My name is Cocaine Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday Don't Be A Tattletale: Bad Bullying Tips For Students The trillest thoughts on marijuana "RHOA" Star Charged With Battery Grizzly Bears Get Snowy Birthday Party Weatherman draws forecast when another technical glitch strikes WGN Elizabeth Olsen's Sexy Shoot Bay Area Teen Gets Prom Date With Help From 'Breaking Bad' Star

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -


    March 12, 2010