The University of Indianapolis football team took a 28-22 loss to No. 1 ranked NAIA team, the Marian University Knights, in the inaugural Monumental Matchup on Saturday, Sept. 12. Mistakes and penalties in the first half were enough to put the victory out of reach, despite the Greyhounds’ strong second-half performance.
Head Football Coach Bob Bartolomeo expressed his disappointment with the result.
“We didn’t quit, but we didn’t play very well,” he said. “We didn’t finish drives on offense again, and we didn’t tackle on defense. If you don’t do those things, you aren’t going to win many games.”
The first half was defined by penalties and missed opportunities for the Greyhounds. UIndy received the opening possession but quickly dispensed with a three and out run. Marian’s first offensive possession included two consecutive third downs that were not stopped by the Greyhounds and yielded drive-extending yardage for the Knights. Marian then ran the ball in for an early 7-0 lead at 9:08.
UIndy got on the board during the first minute of the second half with a 38-yard field goal from redshirt sophomore kicker Brad Schickel. Despite the good kick, it was not enough momentum for the Greyhounds, who would later allow two more touchdowns before the end of the first half. During the final minute of the second quarter, Schickel provided UIndy with another three points to close out the first half.
Marian’s opening drive of the second half included a fumble that was recovered by Greyhound junior linebacker Rob Dury. Despite the momentum shift, the Greyhounds were not able to capitalize on the possession.
The Greyhounds scored their first touchdown of the game with an 8-yard run by sophomore running back Tuwan Payton with 3:20 remaining in the third. Even with the touchdown for the Greyhounds, the Knights led 21-13.
The energy from the touchdown carried over to defense as redshirt junior Mike Hamilton intercepted the Knights. Six drives later, a handoff to redshirt sophomore Andrew Walker resulted in a 9-yard rush for a touchdown. UIndy tried for a 2-point conversion but failed, leaving the score at 21-19 in favor of the Knights.
Marian responded with a touchdown of its own minutes later, advancing the score to 28-19. The Greyhounds’ offense moved down the field with more than two minutes left in the fourth, but were not able to pull off a touchdown, settling for another Schickel field goal. A failed onside kick by UIndy allowed Marian to run down the clock.
Following the 28-22 loss, Bartolomeo said a strong start is key for victories in the rest of the season.
“We’ve got to come out with a little bit more fire and intensity offensively,” he said. “We have to do that and look at the film to figure out why we aren’t doing very well. Next week starts conference, so it’s a big week for us. All of our goals are out in front of us. This is just a temporary setback. We will be OK.”
The Greyhounds open up Great Lakes Valley Conference play during their next game against the Southwest Baptist Bearcats on Saturday, Sept. 19. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. at Key Stadium.