October 26, 2009
The Indiana State Sycamores used a pair of touchdown runs by sophomore quarterback Ryan Roberts to end the nation's longest losing streak at 33 games with a thrilling 17-14 come-from-behind victory over Western Illinois on Homecoming Saturday (Oct. 24) in front of 6,028 fans at electric Memorial Stadium.
The Sycamores got 160 yards rushing from Roberts along with his second consecutive week of reaching the end zone twice in a game. His 91-yard touchdown run in the second quarter was the longest scoring rush in the history of the program, topping the previous mark of an 85-yard run by Todd Yokem against the Leathernecks in 1989.
The victory was clinched after Roberts plunged into the end zone from the four-yard line to cap a 15-play, 80-yard drive with 4:12 left in the game. The game was sealed when freshman Andrew Blackmon picked off a Wil Lunt pass as time expired.
Western Illinois opened the scoring with a first-quarter touchdown at 4:12 - a one-yard run by Dre Gibbs - to go up 7-0.
In the second quarter, Indiana State narrowed the score to 7-3 with a field goal by Braulio Martinez at 12:55. Donye McCleskey then intercepted a pass by Lunt at the ISU 10 yard line and returned it two yards to set up the Sycamores' scoring drive. Two plays later, Roberts burst through for his record 91-yard touchdown run at 3:58, putting Indiana State ahead 10-7.
In the third quarter, WIU regained control with a five-yard touchdown run by Marva Carley at 2:51 to take the lead back at 14-10. The Sycamores would not go quietly, however, as Roberts punched through for a four-yard touchdown run, completing the 80-yard drive with 4:12 remaining in the game.
Roberts led ISU with 160 rushing yards and his pair of scores, while Antoine Brown added 58 yards of his own on the ground. Brock Lough also had two catches for 23 yards.
Defensively, Aaron Archie was the Sycamores' leading tackler with 15, including six solo and two tackles for loss. Jacoby Washington also had a double-digit day with 12 tackles, with one sack and two tackles for a loss of eight yards, while CJ Cook finished with 11 tackles, a tackle for loss and a 25-yard interception. Additionally, Ben Obaseki and Rod Hardy had a pair of key sacks of Lunt in second-to-last drive of the game, followed by an interception by Andrew Blackmon to cap the Leathernecks' final quarter effort.
Indiana State returns to action on Saturday, Oct. 31 against No. 3 Southern Illinois. Kickoff at Memorial Stadium is slated for 12:05 p.m.
Read more about the game at http://www.gosycamores.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=15200&ATCLID=204820414#
Writer: Ace Hunt, athletics media relations, firstname.lastname@example.org
Playing before a vocal Homecoming crowd, the ISU Sycamores came from behind to defeat Western Illinois 17-14 in a Missouri Valley Football Conference game. The victory ended what was the current longest losing streak in NCAA Division I football.