Western Illinois football hosted six different teams on their very own Hanson Field this season. Their last home game of the season ended in a loss against Southern Illinois on Saturday 45-21.
Western started shaky as the Leathernecks fumbled the ball on their first possession, but was quickly given back as their defensive effort made four straight goal-line stops in the first half.
Western seniors LaCale London and Tom Rehfed forced a fumble at Southern Illinois 34 yard line. Senior Colton Folliard also blocked a field goal attempt at the 12-yard line to give the Leathernecks to score with 6:17 remaining in the first half. This was a real defensive game for both teams as the Fighting Leathernecks were not letting up during the last home game of the season. The score was 10-7 at the end of the first half as the Leathernecks trailed by 3.
During the start of the third, the Salukis maintained that same energy on defense holding the Leathernecks to 0 points the whole third quarter. The pressure was so high for Western as senior Nathan Erickson was sent out to attempt a 39-yard field goal at the 4:22-mark of the third quarter when referees decided overturned the previous call – changing it from an incomplete pass a fumble forced and recovered by the Salukis. The visitors earned 21 unanswered points to boost the lead to 31-7 at the end of the third. Tough time for Western’s offense as it looks like it was a lot of miscommunication on the field.
The Leathernecks then made a run in the fourth quarter scoring two more touchdowns to bring their score to 21. But the Salukis high powered offense managed to match Western with two more touchdowns to make the final score of the game 45-21. Western will now head to Northern Iowa next Saturday for the final game of the 2019 season. Kick-off is set for 1 p.m.