INDIANAPOLIS – The UIndy football team (1-0) opened its 2017 campaign with one of the biggest wins in program history, knocking off No. 2 Grand Valley State (0-1), 24-20. The host Greyhounds ran the ball a staggering 55 times for 326 yards, led by freshman running back Al McKeller‘s 206-yard performance.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Greyhounds fell in an early 13-point hole, thanks in part to a pair of first-quarter turnovers. But with the run game heating up and the defense clamping down, UIndy rolled off 17 unanswered points while holding the Lakers off the board for 42 consecutive minutes game time.
Brad Schickel started the Hounds’ scoring with a 27-yard field goal midway through the second, and the Hounds piled on with touchdowns from freshman Daveon Bell (5-yard reception) and junior Jake Purichia (2-yd rush) to take their first lead at 17-13 early in the third.
After Grand Valley broke its scoring drought to regain the lead midway through the fourth, the Hounds answered with a late 89-yard scoring drive, capped by 51-yard touchdown jaunt by McKeller.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
– McKeller is the first Greyhound to crack 200 yards rushing since Craig Jenkins (251 yds) in 2008.
– Meanwhile, McKeller (206) and Andrew Walker (105) became the first UIndy duo to each hit triple digits in rushing since Walker and Matt Ripp turned the trick in 2014. That pair did it twice that season.
– Junior Cole Sigmund led all players with 10 tackles, including two for a loss. Aeneas White finished with seven tackles, all coming in the second half.
– Both Bell and McKeller both scored their first collegiate TD tonight.
– The UIndy defense forced three turnovers on downs as well as three three-and-outs.
From Coach Bob Bartolomeo: “With their offense being as explosive as it is, we knew we had to run the clock. We knew we had to control the ball. I think we’re all a little shocked on how well we ran the ball on them.” For more from Coach Bart, as well as thoughts from McKeller, click here.
Grand Valley averaged 40.3 points per game in 2016 and had won its previous 13 regular season games … The Lakers’ final score represented their lowest point total since October of 2014 … Former league mates in the GLIAC, Thursday opponent’s had not met on the gridiron since 2011. That night ended with a final-minute touchdown from the Hounds in a 34-33 UIndy win … McKeller’s rushing output marked just the ninth time a member of the GLVC broke the 200-yard mark since the league began sponsoring the sport in 2012 … Thursday marked UIndy’s first win versus a ranked opponent first downing No. 9 Ashland, 10-9, in the 2013 season opener. They have four wins versus ranked foes under Coach Bart, two of which coming against Grand Valley.
UIndy travels to Detroit to face another in-region opponent in Wayne State. Kickoff from Tom Adams Field is set for 6 p.m. ET Saturday, Sept. 9.