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Urbana falls at home to #19 Indy on Senior Day

The playoff bound Greyhounds from the University of Indianapolis ended Urbana’s season in heartbreaking fashion on Saturday.  At Urbana University Stadium on Senior Day, the Blue Knights fell 31-24 #19 ranked Indy.

(pictured -  Blue Knight Jalen Crosby of Columbus picks off an Indy pass)

Urbana surged into the lead in the second half.  After trailing 16-10 at the break, the Blue Knights scored twice to take a 24-16 lead with nine minutes to play.  A Greyhound touchdown and two-point conversion tied the game at 24 with six minutes remaining, and Indy quarterback Chris Mills ran in the game-winning touchdown from 10 yards out with 1:35 left on the clock.

The Blue Knights final drive ended on the first play.  QB D.J. Mendenhall was picked off by Max Davis to clinch the win for Indy. 

With the win, Indy clinched the outright GLVC Championship with a perfect 8-0 record in conference play.  Indy entered the week ranked fifth in Super Region 4, and Saturday’s victory guarantees that the Greyhounds’ season will continue next week.  The top six teams in each of Division II’s four regions make the national playoffs.

Urbana’s season ends at 7-4, one game behind last season’s school-record mark of 8-3.  The Blue Knights’ 5-3 record in conference play lands them in third place in the GLVC, behind top 20 teams Missouri S&T and Indy.

Urbana opened Saturday’s game with a 13-play, 75-yard touchdown drive.  Mendenhall found receiver Nate Wilburn-Ogletree in the back of the end zone to put the home team ahead 7-0 early.

After Indy scored 10 points to take the lead, Urbana’s Blaine Hafner made the first field goal of his career, from 34 yards out, to tie it at 10.  The Greyhounds raced down the field and added a TD to their total with 41 seconds left in the first half to take the 16-10 lead into the break.

Mendenhall brought the Blue Knights back with TD passes to Wilburn-Ogletree and running back Jeffvon Gill, but it wasn’t enough to hold off the nationally ranked Greyhounds. 

Mendenhall ended his day with 3 TD passes and 216 yards on 22 of 35 passing.  He became the first Blue Knight in school history to throw for over 3,000 yards in a season, finishing with 3,130 yards and 30 TDs.  He also ran for another 350 yards. 

Thirteen of Mendenhall’s 22 completions on Saturday found junior Joe Webb who finished two catches shy of the single game school record.  Webb recorded his fifth straight 100-yard receiving day, finishing with 124.  Webb set the single season receiving record at UU despite missing two full games with an injury.  Webb is just the second UU receiver to record over a 1,000 yards receiving in a season.  He ended his year with 1,074 yards through the air. 

Wilburn-Ogletree caught five balls for 45 yards and two scores against Indy.  He finished his year with 10 TD catches, just two shy of the school record.

Gill carried the load on the ground for the Blue Knights, running for 148 yards on 32 carries, in addition to his 10 yard TD catch.  The Blue Knights outgained Indy on the ground and through the air.  Gill’s 148 yards rushing put him at 1,082 yards for the season.  He is just the second player in school history to eclipse 1,000 yards rushing.

Defensively, senior linebacker Drew Underwood led the way with 9 tackles and 1 pass break-up.  Underwood’s career ends with 249 career stops.  Brian Ridley, Roy Harvison, Daniel Goodrum and David McComas all recorded 8 tackles in the loss.  Goodrum held off Underwood for the season lead in defensive stops.  Freshman cornerback Jalen Crosby recorded his first career interception late in the third quarter, setting up Urbana’s go-ahead score.  Senior defensive end Perry Jenkins made 4 stops, including one for a loss, to eclipse 100 career stops.

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