Football wins homecoming game against McKendree

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Junior defensive back Martece McClinton leads the team in a march out of the tunnel at the homecoming game against the McKendree University Bearcats on Oct. 8. Photo by Jennifer Ulrey

Junior defensive back Martece McClinton leads the team in a march out of the tunnel at the homecoming game against the McKendree University Bearcats on Oct. 8. Photo by Jennifer Ulrey

The University of Indianapolis football team captured the homecoming game against the McKendree University Bearcats after losing in a margin of seven points to Truman State University the previous weekend.

Before the game against McKendree, head football coach Bob Bartolomeo expressed his confidence taking his team into the weekend.

“We have confidence coming into the game against …  McKendree,” Bartolomeo said before the game. “They [McKendree games] are conference games, and it makes it a little easier because we have faced them several times over the years…. It is going to come down to the fourth quarter, and we just need to execute.”

After going into the halftime break with a tie at 17, the Hounds came back out to shut down the Bearcats in the third quarter, not letting them score a single point.

After redshirt sophomore quarterback Jake Purichia left the game due to an injury, redshirt freshman Bryce Stancombe came in to lead the offense.

The men took the lead in the third quarter when redshirt junior kicker Brad Shickel kicked a field goal taking the score to 20-17.

In the final quarter, the Hounds allowed the Bearcats to rack up seven points, but still were able to score 14 of their own and get the win. The game winning play was identical to the that of last year’s, when Stancombe got his third interception of the game and took the ball the other way to score once more with less than two minutes on the clock. The play moved the final score to 34-24 sending McKendree home in defeat.

The previous Saturday the Hounds lost to the Truman State Bulldogs after not being able to score from inside the ten-yard line in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter.

The Bulldogs took the early lead 14-0 in the first half, before the Hounds finally scored on a pass to sophomore wide receiver Malik Higgins with only 1:02 remaining in the second quarter. Higgins led the charge, catching a variety of passes from 18 to 20 yards, while scoring his third touchdown of the season.

Purichia threw the longest Greyhound pass in 13 years at the 20 yard line. Higgins picked up the ball at the end of the field for an 80 yard sprint to get the next touchdown.

At the beginning of the fourth quarter, the Truman Bulldogs fought back with 10 unanswered points. In the final minutes of the game the hounds made several attempts to drive the ball but fell to Truman 24-17.

“We just keep giving effort,” Bartolomeo said about the season thus far. “We have not given up,  even after a slow start.”

The team came into the Truman State and McKendree games after a career milestone by redshirt junior running back Andrew Walker, who became the 13th Greyhound in school history to hit 2,000 career rushing yards.

“It was never a goal. I just wanted to come in and help the team win,” Walker said.  “I just want to thank my offensive line throughout the years. Without them, I would have never been able to accomplish such a remarkable goal.”

Bartolomeo had a lot of praise for Walker’s performance and said he leads his team on and off the field.

“Andrew has done his time and is one of the leaders of this team, by his actions and by his performances,” Bartolomeo said.

Walker said that the small size of UIndy has been very beneficial to him as an athlete and student. His coaches and teachers have pushed him to be his best and made him the person and player he is today.

“Every detail in the game is crucial and comes to the surface like in the business world, Walker stated regarding his education in business. “In the game though, hunger takes over, and I just want to win.”

For the next game, the Hounds will travel to Quincy, Ill. to battle the Quincy University Hawks.

Kick off will be at 7 p.m. on Oct. 15 at Flinn Stadium.

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