The University of Indianapolis football team finished with a winning season after defeating Saint Joseph’s College 21-16 on Saturday, Nov. 12.
Following the win, Head Football Coach Bob Bartolomeo explained that the win was the result of the team playing hard and giving its all until the end of the game.
“It was a total team effort. I thought that our kids showed a lot of resiliency, played hard for 60 minutes, and that’s what we talked about,” Bartolomeo said. “We knew it was going to be a slobberknocker. We knew it was going to be a fourth quarter game. I’m very proud of our effort.”
UIndy was able to open the scoreboard after a 59-yard rush from redshirt junior running back Andrew Walker and a successful extra point from redshirt junior kicker Brad Schickel, bringing the Hounds up 7-0 with 8:35 on the clock.
The Greyhounds kept the lead for a short time after the Pumas tied the game with 5:20 on the clock. The team ended the first quarter 7-7.
The only points in the second quarter came from the Hounds following a 39-yard touchdown pass from redshirt freshman quarterback Bryce Stancombe to sophomore wide receiver Malik Higgins and a kick from Schickel.
Following his catch, Higgins felt the energy of the game go for the Hounds.
“It was just a big play that we needed,”he said. “And I was just glad that I could spark the offense and help us out in the end.”
UIndy also took control in the third quarter, continuing to keep Saint Joe at seven. A 3-yard pass from Stancombe to junior tight end and halfback Alex Kimack in the third quarter and Schickel’s third successful P.A.T. of the night left the game 27-7 going into the final quarter.
The game ended 21-16 after nine Puma points in the fourth quarter, ending the Hound’s season with a 6-5 record.
Higgins said that after a tough game, everything came together to give the seniors a winning season.
“It was just a hard fight today, and we pulled it out,” Higgins said. “I’m glad we could do it for the seniors. I’m thankful for everything they’ve done for us this year. It really just showed tonight that we came out as a team and fought till the end.”
The seniors were a main part of the successful season, according to Bartolomeo.
“Our seniors set the tone for the season,” he said. “We could have folded. We were 1-4 or something, and we could have called it quits, but our seniors wouldn’t let us, and that says a lot about our senior leadership and the resiliency in this football program. This programs built on toughness, and I think we’ve showed it here this year.”
According to Higgins, improvement throughout the season showed how strong the team is and how necessary it is to work hard to replace the seniors for next season.
“It’s been hard-fought. We were young and immature, and I thought we grew a lot as a team,” Higgins said. “These juniors, sophomores and everybody that’s coming back are going to have some big shoes to fill for the seniors next year. We’re going to have to come back and go to work.”
At the season’s end, Bartolomeo sees a positive future for the team next season.
“Keep coming back to see us. We’ll be back,” he said. “We had one senior on offense, so we should be better there, defensively we have a bunch of great players to replace, so we have work cut out for us on defense. We have enough coming back to where we can be competitive in the future.”