Eastern loses big to Northern


Sean Hastings

Members of the Eastern football team’s offense look on in the midst of a tough day on offense. The Panthers lost 38-10 to Northern on the road Saturday. The Panthers had 187 yards of offense.

Sean Hastings, Sports Editor

DeKalb— Northern had more penalty yards than Eastern had of total offense, leading to a 38-10 win for the Huskies Saturday.

Northern was penalized regularly throughout the game racking up 194 yards on 18 penalties. Eastern had 187 yards of offense.

Eastern also had a pair of crucial penalties which led to the ejections of senior safety Bradley Dewberry and junior defensive lineman Josh Price; both were targeting penalties.

Both players are suspended for the first half of next week’s game.

This was the second-straight week where the offense could not get in a groove and put pressure on opponents’ defense.

And the struggles Eastern has had early on in the season is uncharacteristic.

“Offensively, we weren’t good this week, we weren’t good last week,” Coach Kim Dameron said. “We have to figure out what we’re doing.”

On their first drives on offense and defense, the Panthers held their own and forced a three-and-out as well as moving the ball into scoring position on their first drive on offense.

With senior kicker Nick Bruno out with an injury, senior Nick Wilson handled the field goals for the Panthers. He is naturally the backup punter to redshirt senior Cody Edwards.

Wilson put a field goal through the uprights to what should have been the end of the drive, but an illegal procedure penalty negated the field goal and it was called back.
The penalty put Wilson out of range and Eastern failed to convert on fourth down. Besides that opening drive, and when Wilson hit a field goal later in the game, it was the only time Eastern showed some life.

Coach Kim Dameron said it was a combination of great play by Northern, and Eastern not playing well.

“We’re going to have to get a lot better as a football team if we’re going to win any games,” Dameron said. “…We have a big game coming up next week with Illinois State and we must play a lot better to be able to compete in that football game.”

Eastern had early opportunities to stay in the game, but Northern’s first score started the first-half rout the Huskies had.

Backup quarterback for Northern Daniel Santacaterina connected with Spencer Tears for a 39-yard touchdown pass on 3rd and 19.

The Huskies scored their first three touchdowns on third down.

As Dameron put it, things started to “snowball” after the Panthers squandered the early opportunities they had.

Eastern trailed 31-3 at halftime, and the score speaks for how the offense struggled. With the talent the offense posses, it should be putting up more points and more yards.

Dameron regularly says if the Panthers do not turn the ball over, they will be able to win the game. Eastern had three turnovers against Northern.

Redshirt senior quarterback Mitch Kimble threw two interceptions and had one fumble. His second interception deflected off an Eastern receiver and into the hands of Northern’s Mykel Williams.

“Normally he does not throw interceptions, but he did and that’s something that we have to address.”

Eastern’s touchdown came off a quarterback sneak by redshirt sophomore Scotty Gilkey Jr. in the fourth quarter.

Next week the Panthers host Illinois State in a battle for the Mid America Classic Trophy. The Panthers beat Illinois State on the road last year.

Sean Hastings can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]