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J.J. Raffelson led the Leathernecks in tackles at Iowa State
Courtesy: WIU Visual Productions Center
J.J. Raffelson led the Leathernecks in tackles at Iowa State
Leathernecks Fall at Iowa State
Courtesy: Western Illinois Athletics  
Release: Sunday 09/15/2012
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AMES, Iowa - Western Illinois won the turnover battle but came up on the short end of a 37-3 decision at Iowa State on Saturday night (Sept. 15) at Jack Trice Stadium. The Leathernecks dropped to 2-1 overall while the Cyclones remained undefeated (3-0).

Coming into the game, Western was tied for 20th nationally in turnovers gained and 11th in turnover margin. Trey Garvey recovered a fumble and David McDaniel and Luke Venegoni recorded their first-ever interception, and Western did not commit a miscue in the game. However, the Leathernecks could not capitalize on the three turnovers.

Iowa State got on the board first with a 56-yard touchdown run by James White less than two minutes into the game. Western was forced to a 3-and-out on its opening drive. Pat Smith's 48-yard punt was returned 48 yards to the Western 18. Three plays later, Steele Jantz found Chris Young on a 16-yard TD.

ISU found the endzone again right before halftime when Jantz hit Young on a 5-yard score. Western got 81 total yards in the first half while the Cyclones recorded 280. Jantz threw his third TD pass of the game when he hit Aaron Horne on a 22-yard scoring strike early in the third quarter.

Western's defense came up with another turnover with McDaniel's pick. On his return he got into the ISU redzone, but a penalty on the return brought it back to Cyclone territory. Edwin Arceo hit a 49-yard field goal later in the quarter.

The Leathernecks drove into ISU territory late in the third quarter. Facing 4th-and-1, Nikko Watson broke through for a 23-yard run - needing two Cyclones to bring him down - to keep the drive alive. ISU broke up a pass in the endzone on third down and Western settled for a 26-yard field goal from Smith.

Western held a near three minute time of possession edge (31:28-28:32), but was out-gained overall in total yards 504-178.

"Iowa State is a good football team. Some things I think I knew about our team but learned first-hand tonight is we have a tough group of young men who never quit. The Leathernecks fought to the final gun," said Hendrickson.

Watson led the ground game with 76 yards on 17 attempts. Josh Hudson completed 9-of-18 passes for 73 yards. Justin Morgan caught four passes for 32 yards while Charles Chestnut recorded 30 yards on two catches.

In the first half, senior co-captain Max Dancer was carted off the field with a knee injury. That led to later in the game true-freshmen Mike Love and T.J. Palme seeing their first collegiate action.

"The most disappointing thing that happened to us was fifth-year senior and co-captain, starting right guard Max Dancer was injured tonight... After losing three fifth-year senior starters on defense after game one I thought we would go the rest of the season without that happening. That was a big blow to us I admit," said Hendrickson. "We actually played two true-freshmen offensive linemen because we knew we couldn't get through the season without them."

Defensively, J.J. Raffelson made eight tackles while Kieron James, Dwight Harris and Garvey added six stops apiece.

Jantz finished 19-of-26 with an interception and three touchdowns. White had 72 yards and DeVondrick Nealy added 70 yards on the ground. Young caught seven passes for 86 yards and two scores. Jeremiah George tallied nine stops.

The Leathernecks return to Hanson Field next Saturday (Sept. 22) for Homecoming 2012. Western opens Missouri Valley Football Conference play against No. 15 Illinois State, kickoff scheduled for 3 p.m.

GAME NOTES: The announced crowd was 55,783, the fourth-largest crowd in Cyclone history and sixth-largest Western ever played in front of... Western won the toss and elected to defer to the second half... That was the first time this year that Western failed to score in the first quarter, but Smith did average 42.3 yards on three punts and put two inside the 20-yard line... True-freshman Malik Johnson and junior tight end Mason Howington made their first collegiate start... Antoine Ford got his first start of the year... Kevin Kintzel forced a fumble and Trey Garvey recovered for the first of his career... Taylor Hill came up with his first collegiate catch, an 18-yard reception... Smith's 11 punts tie him for the third-most by a Leatherneck in a game. He averaged 38.5 yards per punt and put three inside the 20-yard line... Western committed only two penalties all game, totaling 20 yards while Iowa State had seven for 75 yards.

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