It was a new week, but same story for the University of Indianapolis football team in Great Lakes Valley Conference action, as it claimed a lopsided road victory this past Saturday, Oct. 4 over the Quincy University Hawks, 42-20.
The conference victory extended the Greyhounds’ record to 4-1 and 2-0 in the GLVC, while increasing their all-time record in the conference since joining in 2012 to 17-0.
The Greyhounds took control of the contest early in the first quarter, when redshirt junior quarterback Connor Barthel connected with redshirt junior wide receiver Reece Horn on a 17-yard touchdown pass, putting the Greyhounds on the board first, 7-0. The touchdown connection between Barthel and Horn would not be the last of the game, however, as the two linked up in the end zone for two more touchdowns from 19 and 51 yards out before halftime.
Barthel finished the contest 20-of-27, with a career-high 305 yards and four touchdown passes, and Horn finished the game with 197 receiving yards on 10 receptions, including the three touchdowns. All three statistics were season-highs for the Greyhounds’ leading receiver, who has continued to connect well with Barthel on the field all season.
Prior to the win on Saturday, Horn said that he attributes his success with Barthel on the field to their relationship that they maintain off the field.
“Me and Connor go way back, starting in our high school days. So we have really developed that chemistry over the years,” he said. “When we’re out there and we have a fade rout for instance, and he throws a back shoulder [pass], it’s just one of those natural things where we’re both on the same page all the time. If we’re not [on the same page], we immediately correct it and just go forth.
“We’re really fortunate enough to show on Saturday what we have been doing, and now we’re just putting it into play,” he said. “Me and Connor are best friends on and off the field. He’s my roommate [off the field], so there is not a better guy.”
After giving up a Quincy touchdown during the last minute of the first half, the Greyhounds went into halftime leading 21-6.
In the second half, the Greyhounds continued to roll with three more touchdowns, as Quincy found the end zone just once in the third quarter and again in the fourth.
It was not enough to bring the Hawks within contention of the lead, however, as Greyhounds claimed their win with a cushion on the scoreboard.
Among many high statistical performances for UIndy its victory, no statistical performance proved more significant than the one claimed by senior kicker Scott Miller, who surpassed former-running back and teammate Klay Fiechter for first place on the program’s all-time scoring list.
Miller ended the contest with 282 career points, and will have the opportunity to add on to his total throughout the remainder of the season.
On offense, besides the season-high performance by Horn, other Greyhounds contributed to UIndy’s superior offensive production as well, including an unlikely receiver. At the beginning of the second half, the Greyhounds’ fourth touchdown of the game was caught by redshirt freshman offensive lineman/tight end Matt Sinclair. The Carmel native made the reception on a four-yard touchdown pass in the back of the end zone to add to the Greyhounds’ lead.
On the ground, the backfield tandem of redshirt sophomore running back Andrew Walker and redshirt senior running back Matt Ripp produced 139 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Walker’s touchdown run came from 17 yards out during the third quarter, while Ripp added another touchdown towards the beginning of the fourth.
On defense, the Greyhounds held the Hawks to a total of 311 yards, compared to UIndy’s 444, led by sophomore linebacker Rob Dury, who had a total of 19 tackles.
Junior defensive lineman Lee Campbell had a statistically impressive day in the trenches, with 10 tackles and two sacks. Following the win, the Greyhounds, at 2-0 in the GLVC, are off to a promising start of reclaiming their conference crown and completing a three-peat run of holding that position.
Prior to this past Saturday, however, Head Football Coach Bob Bartolomeo said that the Greyhounds will not look beyond who is next on their schedule.
“[We will prepare for] one [opponent] at a time,” he said. “Don’t fool yourself by looking behind you, and don’t fool yourself by looking too far in front of you. You better take each game as it goes.”
Bartolomeo also mentioned that the team expected from the beginning of the season that they would receive every conference opponent’s best shot. According to Horn, that is the way he likes it.
“That [receiving every GLVC opponent’s best] is what I love,” he said. “We’re obviously the powerhouse in the GLVC, but that’s because we put in the time and the work, and come Saturday night, were going to get everybody’s best shot, but that’s the beauty of the business.”
UIndy will put that work to the test this Saturday, Oct. 11 when they will host the McKendree University Bearcats. Kickoff is scheduled to take place at 6 p.m.