The University of Indianapolis football team took on the Missouri S&T Miners on Nov. 7. The Greyhounds earned themselves their fourth straight Great Lakes Valley Conference Championship in a 38-14 senior day victory.
Head Football Coach Bob Bartolomeo said that the teams GLVC championship is a notable accomplishment for the team and the university.
“It’s hard to win four in a row,” Bartolomeo said. “I don’t care what sport you are in. When you are the guy with a target on your back, you are going to get everyone’s best game. Our kids have withstood the test. To win four [GLVC Championships] in a row is a great accomplishment for our program.”
Redshirt senior wide receiver Reece Horn was also pleased with the championship victory.
“It feels really good, going out on top like that,” Horn said. “But we are by no means satisfied with this. We have to take next week’s against Saint Joe [Saint Joseph’s College]. It [the win] makes the next game that much bigger. We have to get a win there, and that’s all we are focused on now.”
From the start, the Greyhounds showed dominance on the field, scoring two touchdowns in the first quarter.
Although the Miners started the game with the ball, the Hounds defense held them to a three and out. After a punt from the Miners, redshirt senior quarterback Connor Barthel and the Greyhound offense took over at their own 30-yard line. UIndy marched 70 yards down the field in four plays resulting in a 21-yard touchdown pass to Horn, which set up the pace for the rest of the game.
Although Missouri had a few drives down the field in the first half, they were never able to finish it with points to show their effort.
At the end of the first half, the score sat at 28-0 in favor of UIndy. Horn had three of the touchdowns, while Barthel found the end zone for a fourth touchdown.
By the end of the third quarter, UIndy was up 38-0 and the team started to phase out their starters. The Miners were able to score two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, but it was too little too late leaving the final score of the game at 38-14 UIndy. Scoring in the second half for the Greyhounds was redshirt sophomore running back Andrew Walker on a 65-yard rush and redshirt sophomore Brad Schickel with a 21-yard field goal. Walker has scored at least one touchdown in every game this season. Bartolomeo commented on the team’s consistent performance throughout the night.
“I think we are starting to peak a little bit. Kids realize what’s at stake,” he said. “I think we are coming out more focused and doing some better things in the first half. We were ready to play tonight.”
The week prior UIndy faced conference rival William Jewell College on Oct. 31. The Greyhounds defeated the Cardinals 63-35, last season William Jewell put UIndy out of playoff contention.
That was the highest score in any game in the past 87 years for UIndy, and along side that was Horn breaking the record for most career receiving yards and most receptions in a game. Horn had 3,266 receiving yards and 17 receptions during the game. This game also put Horn at two seasons with over 1,000 receiving yards, making him the first Greyhound to ever do so. Horn said that he was very pleased with the records, but the team comes first.
“It definitely feels good. I just like to come out each and every week with the team and just get better,” he said. “I like to do whatever I can to help the team win. We just take one week at a time. I was fortunate enough to get those records, but I was by no means thinking about that at all [during the game].”
The Greyhounds say they are now looking to next week’s game against Hoosier rival Saint Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, Ind. Bartolomeo stressed the importance of this game for the possibility of another NCAA Division II championship bid.
“Rensselaer is a hard place to play [at],” Bartolomeo said. “They [Saint Joe] always play well at home and they always play us well. It’ll be a fight. We have to win next week, that’s for sure. We win and we’re in. Bottom line.”
Horn also highlighted the difficulties of playing the away game and the importance of a victory for the team.
“It’s going to be a hostile environment first off,” he said. “We have to keep doing what we have been doing. We just have to play UIndy football and do everything we can to get another win for the program.”
The Hounds will play their next game on Nov. 14 at Saint Joseph’s Alumni Stadium. Kick off is set for 1 p.m.