Caton scores; Sycamores remain winless in conference home opener

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Caton scores; Sycamores remain winless in conference home opener

From ISU Media Relations

TERRE HAUTE — Indiana State’s fourth quarter comeback ended with an interception in the red zone on Saturday night as the Sycamores fell to the visiting Northern Iowa Panthers at Memorial Stadium, 27-20.



ISU (0-5, 0-2) battled their way back into the game following a 14-play, 51-yard drive that spanned 7:49 in the fourth quarter as redshirt freshman kicker Jake Andjelicknocked in his second field goal of the contest to make it a one-possession game with 2:30 to play. His 41-yard attempt hit the back of the support post to cap a drive that included a 14-yard completion from Cade Chambers to Justin Dinka on 3rd-and-8 near midfield to keep the drive alive.



On the ensuing onside kick attempt, ISU’s Harry Van Dyne came out with the loose ball in the skirmish near the Sycamores 46-yard line. ISU’s final drive was marred by a pair of holding calls, but Chambers kept the offense moving down the field completing five passes targeting four different players. The redshirt sophomore found Ethan Chambersfor a key 14-yard pickup on 3rd-and-9 to move the ball to the UNI (3-2, 2-0) 39, while completions to Dakota Caton and Kevin Barnett put the ball inside the UNI 30.



Following Indiana State’s second holding call of the drive, Chambers launched an attempt down the left sideline toward Harry Van Dyne in tight coverage by UNI’s Fletcher Marshall, Jr. The ball was deflected up in the air at the UNI 2-yard line and landed in defensive back Edwin Dearman’s hands to swing possession back to the Panthers to secure the win.



The Sycamores put together one of their most complete offensive games of the 2023 season against the Panthers as ISU held onto the ball for 39:58 in the contest and converted 8-of-14 third-down opportunities. Chambers was 23-of-30 through the air for 245 yards and a touchdown, while Dinka posted 18 carries for 69 yards in his return to the field.



Four different ISU receivers hauled in at least four catches with Van Dyne (five receptions, 94 yards) leading the way. Barnett posted his first five-catch game of the 2023 season and second of his career, while Dinka added five catches for 40 yards out of the backfield. Dakota Caton added a 15-yard touchdown catch, while Evan Olaes had a three-yard touchdown run to highlight the Sycamore offense.



Maddix Blackwell posted a team-high six tackles on the game, while Garret Ollendieck and Blake Surface both had tackles for loss. Johnathan Edwards tied a career-high with three pass breakups on Saturday.



The Sycamores largely kept reigning MVFC Offensive Player of the Week Theo Day in check as the UNI quarterback went 16-of-28 for 176 yards on Saturday night. Harrison Bey-Buie provided most of the damage on the ground for UNI with 20 carries for 137 yards and three scores, while Sam Schnee had five catches for 75 yards.



Tucker Langenberg led all players with 11 tackles and added 2.0 tackles for loss to pace the Panthers. Cordarrius Bailey had a team-high 4.0 tackles for loss and 3.0 sacks to lead UNI’s pass-rushing efforts.



How They Scored

  • Indiana State took the early 3-0 lead at the 5:15 mark as Jake Andjelic connected on a 30-yard field goal capping a 13-play, 63-yard drive that spanned 8:29 in the first quarter.
  • Harrison Bey-Buie put the Panthers on the board with a 2-yard touchdown rush at the 11:06 mark in the second quarter to cap a five-play, 66-yard drive and give UNI the 7-3 lead.
  • Evan Olaes took the quarterback keeper and followed the pile into the end zone at the 1:22 mark in the second quarter to give Indiana State the 10-7 lead. The drive was highlighted by Cade Chambers’ completions to Justin Dinka, Harry Van Dyne, and Kevin Barnett to set up the short plunge.
  • Bey-Buie scored his second touchdown of the contest on the final play of the first half as the UNI running back took the handoff and went through the left side of the line for the 1-yard touchdown carry to make it a 14-10 Panther lead at the break.
  • The Sycamores utilized the playaction pass on the first play of the second half with Chambers finding Harry Van Dyne for a 54-yard pickup to move the ball into UNI territory. Four plays later, Chambers found Dakota Caton in the left corner of the end zone for the 15-yard touchdown connection to give Indiana State the 17-14 lead with 12:08 remaining in the third quarter.
  • Bey-Buie scored his third rushing touchdown of the contest at the 10:17 mark in the third quarter with a 26-yard touchdown run giving UNI the 21-17 lead.
  • Matthew Cook connected on a 25-yard field goal capping a 7-play, 40-yard drive with 5:40 remaining in the third quarter to give UNI the 24-17 edge.
  • Cook added a 50-yard field goal at the 10:19 mark in the fourth quarter to stretch the UNI lead to 27-17.
  • Andjelic connected on his second field goal of the game with 2:30 remaining as the redshirt freshman kicker hit from 41 yards out to end a 14-play, 51-yard drive to provide the final scoring margin 27-20. 


Inside the Numbers

  • Indiana State dominated the time of possession battle holding the ball a season-high 39:58 in the contest. The Sycamores held the ball at least 10 minutes in three of the four quarters on Saturday night against the Panthers.
  • ISU ran off 68 total offensive plays to UNI’s 54 with the Sycamores averaging 5.0 yards per play on the afternoon.
  • Indiana State posted more passing yards (245-176), while UNI held the 148-96 edge in rushing yards.
  • The Sycamores went 8-for-14 (57.1%) on third down conversions on Saturday night.
  • UNI held the line of scrimmage posting four sacks on the game.
  • The Sycamores converted their first two field goals of the 2023 season.


News & Notes

  • Indiana State’s 39:58 time of possession marked a high in the Curt Mallory coaching era surpassing the previous high of 38:25 set last season at Western Illinois (Nov. 12, 2022).
  • Cade Chambers’ 245 passing yards marked the second-most in his collegiate career and third game with at least 200 passing yards overall. His career-high 311 yards was achieved last season at Youngstown State (Oct. 15, 2022).
  • Kevin Barnett tied his career-high with five catches (vs. North Alabama – Sept. 1, 2022), and added a career-high 57 yards on nine targets on Saturday night.
  • Harry Van Dyne narrowly missed out on his second consecutive 100-yard receiving game as the redshirt senior posted five catches for 94 yards. He currently leads the team with 22 receptions for 336 yards on the season.
  • Dakota Caton hauled in his second receiving touchdown of 2023 with the 15-yard grab in the third quarter. His first came on the road at Ball State (Sept. 16, 2023).
  • Justin Dinka made his return to the field on Saturday night with the redshirt junior finishing the game with a season-high 18 carries for 69 yards. It marked his first appearance since Sept. 8 against Indiana and most rushing yards since going for 73 yards in the 2022 season finale against Missouri State (Nov. 19, 2022).
  • Jake Andjelic became the second Sycamore kicker in as many years to make multiple field goals in his ISU debut as the redshirt freshman converted from both 30 and 41 yards on Saturday. Teammate Ryan O’Grady went 3-for-3 in his inaugural game with the Sycamores last season against North Alabama (Sept. 1, 2022).
  • Dinka posted career-highs in both catches (5) and receiving yards (40) on Saturday.
  • Chambers’ 54-yard pass to Harry Van Dyne on the opening play from scrimmage in the second half was ISU’s longest offensive play of the 2023 season to date.
  • The Sycamores fall to 5-31 all-time against Northern Iowa with the loss.


Up Next

Indiana State hits the road to Normal, Ill., and Hancock Stadium next weekend as the Sycamores continue Missouri Valley Football play. Kickoff between the Sycamores and the Redbirds is set for 3 p.m. with the game to be carried live on ESPN+.


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