After achieving their fourth win against the Hillsdale College Chargers, the University of Indianapolis football continues its undefeated status.
In the first quarter, the Hounds led the Chargers by 20. In the beginning of the second, redshirt senior Brad Schickel scored another field goal, giving the Hounds the biggest lead of the game. The Chargers responded with three touchdowns in the second half. Before the break, the Hounds extended their lead with a touchdown 33 seconds before the break.
Coming back after halftime break, the Hounds lead 30-21. The Chargers gained their only lead of the game after a touchdown and a field goal, bringing the score to 31-30. The lead was short-lived, before redshirt junior quarterback Jake Purichia passed to junior wide receiver Malik Higgins for a touchdown.
The Chargers scored at the beginning of the third quarter, tying it up before a UIndy interception at the end of the quarter gave the Hounds the 45-38 victory.
After defeating the Southwest Baptist University Bearcats on Sept. 16 in Key Stadium, the Greyhounds placed No. 14 in the polls.
The Bearcats, who beat the Hounds last season, started the game by throwing a touchdown pass on their first drive. The Hounds responded with big yardage plays and 28 unanswered points.
On their first score for the Hounds, Purichia connected with redshirt freshman Aaron Matio for a 52-yard touchdown. On the next possession, senior running back Tuwan Payton punched it in from 31 yards out to put the Hounds up 14-7.
At the beginning of the second quarter, Purichia picked up his second throwing touchdown of the game, hitting Higgins for 48 yards. Then redshirt senior Aaron Bruning returned an interception 42 yards back for a touchdown.
“First and foremost, we played really hard,” said Head Football Coach Bob Bartolomeo. “We made some breaks in the game that kind of blew it open.”
To end the first half, the Bearcats made a field goal from the 30-yard line, which cut the Hounds’ lead to 28-10 going into the break.
Southwest Baptist opened the second half with a long, 84-yard touchdown pass, making the score 28-17. Just before the end of the third quarter Schickel made a 37-yard field goal putting the Hounds up 31-17.
UIndy closed the game up in the fourth quarter with another touchdown pass from Purichia to Higgins and a 5-yard touchdown run by freshman running back Al McKeller to end the game 45-17. The Hounds defense only allowed the Bearcats 41 yards in the fourth quarter.
“Defensively, we held the quarterback in check for most of the game. He made a couple big plays with his feet and then hit a couple big passes,” Bartolomeo said. “They’re [Southwest Baptist] a good football team. Anytime you defeat a defending champ it’s quite a feather in your cap.”
Purichia went 11-16 on passes with 267-yards and three touchdowns. Higgins had four receptions for 105 yards and two touchdowns on the day.
“Our first game of the year, we showed we could really run the ball. Then in the second game, we weren’t having as much success on the ground, so our passing game really opened up. Last game, I think we showed we can really do both,” Purichia said. “We have two or three receivers who I have full trust in and who I like to throw to. They’re all kind of different. Malik [Higgins] is more of an explosive downfield guy, while Garrett [Willis] is a possession, sure-catch type of guy…. And then you have Aaron [Matio] who can do it all too.”
The Hounds will play their next two game at home, which is the homecoming game on Sept. 30 against the Truman State University Bulldogs, kicking off at 6 p.m.
“Playing at home in front of a good crowd helps.” Bartolomeo said. “We play well at home… I think any great team has to play well at home.”