TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - The Indiana State Sycamores posted their first shutout in 16 seasons by earning a 44-0 victory over Quincy on a sunny afternoon in front of 6,294 fans at Memorial Stadium.
ISU improves to 1-1 on the season while the Hawks fell to 0-2.
The Sycamore defense allowed just 114 yards of total offense to Quincy in the victory and surrendered only nine first downs to the Hawks. The game marked the first shutout for the Sycamores since a 1996 victory in the season opener against Mars Hill.
Indiana State scored in eight of their first nine offensive possessions, including touchdowns on their first three offensive drives.
The Sycamores completed a pair of long third down conversions on their first drive and capped a seven-play, 59-yard jaunt down the field with a 12-yard touchdown run from Shakir Bell to take a 7-0 lead with 11:16 remaining in the first quarter.
Michael Mardis scored on the first play of the Sycamores' second drive with a 43-yard reception from Mike Perish to make it 14-0.
Ben Obaseki scored his seventh career offensive touchdown with a one-yard touchdown rush with 4:32 remaining in the opening stanza on another seven play drive for the 21-0 lead.
Mark Sewall forced a fumble and Jacolby Washington recovered the ball following the Obaeski touchdown but the Sycamores had to punt the ball at the start of the second quarter. It would be the only offensive drive for the Sycamores for nearly 44 minutes of game time that the Sycamores would not eventually score.
Following a Quincy punt, the Sycamores took over and drove just 13 yards to net a 23-yard field goal by Tanner Fritschle with 11:27 remaining in the first half for the 24-0 lead.
Larry King came down with his first interception of the season with 9:30 remaining in the second quarter and spurred on by a 53-yard rush by George Cheeseborough, the Sycamores drove 71 yards to score on a Perish to Demory Lawshe 21-yard hookup with 6:52 to go before the half for a 31-0 advantage.
Fritschle added his second field goal of the first half -- a 35-yard attempt -- with 1:53 remaining before the break for a 34-0 lead after a 36-yard drive which was set by an eight-yard punt return from Tanner Riley.
The Hawks appeared poised to be moving into scoring position, but Sewall came up big again with his first career interception as the first half clock expired and he returned it 77-yards to the Quincy 18-yard line before the Hawks were flagged for a personal foul which moved the ball to the Quincy nine and the penalty forced an untimed down at the end of the half.
Fritschle stepped up with no time on the clock to drill a 25-yard field goal for a 37-0 lead.
It marked the first time a Sycamore had made three field goals in a game since Cory Little did it last season at Western Kentucky.
The second half saw the Sycamore reserves receive the bulk of the action as the defense got a stop and then Richie Dyer capped off a 13-play, 69-yard drive that chewed up seven minutes of game time with a four-yard touchdown rush for a 44-0 lead.
Cheeseborough led the way for the Sycamores on the ground with 72 rushing yards on seven carries while Bell had 69 rushing yards on 19 carries with a touchdown. Dyer posted 47 rushing yards on 13 carries with a TD and Foluke Gordan-Lamar also had 47 yards on the ground over 10 carries.
All told, the Sycamores amassed 237 yards of rushing offense on 55 attempts.
Perish completed 10-of-16 passes for 165 yards and a pair of touchdowns, including the 43-yard scoring strike to Mardis. Travis Johnson played most of the second half and was 2-of-4 passing for 25 yards.
Mardis led the Sycamore receiving corps with three catches for 68 yards and a touchdown. Eight different Sycamores caught a pass on the day as Donald Spencer had 29 yards on three carries and Bell, Lawshe, Dyer, Myles Walker, Riley and Chris O'Leary also caught passes.
Indiana State had 427 yards of total offense and chalked up 21 first downs during the game and the defense limited the Hawks to just 73 yards on the ground and only 41 through the air. The Hawks were held without a first down until late in the second quarter and did not complete a pass until the third stanza.
Fritschle was a perfect 3-of-3 kicking field goals in the game and is 4-of-4 from the year, including a 45-yard effort last week at Indiana.
Aaron Archie led the way for the Sycamores with 10 total tackles on the day, including a total of three for a loss. Jacolby Washington had nine tackles with a fumble recovery and Mark Sewall posted four tackles, one for a loss, a forced fumble and an interception.
The Sycamores return to action on Saturday, September 15 when they host Drake in the second of three consecutive home games. Kick-off against the Bulldogs is set for 2:05 p.m. (ET) at Memorial Stadium.
Release from Indiana State University Athletics
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