No. 21 Cyclones need three OTs to beat Northern Iowa


Katlyn Campbell/Iowa State Daily

Running back, Sheldon Croney Jr., runs the ball down the field during the football game against University of Akron at Jack Trice Stadium on Sept. 22. The Cyclones won 26-13.

Noah Rohlfing

This wasn’t the season opener Iowa State had planned. It was sloppy, disjointed and very nearly an avoidable loss. 

But, despite numerous mistakes, the No. 21 Cyclones were able to notch their first win of the season against Northern Iowa in triple overtime, 29-26.

The game definitely started with a whimper as Iowa State punted from the 50 yard line on fourth-and-one. The conservative play calls continued throughout the first half, as the Cyclones punted on a fourth-and-2 from the UNI 40 in the second quarter.

The solitary points scored in the first half were by Cyclone kicker Connor Assalley to give Iowa State a 3-0 lead at the break.

A field goal from UNI out of the gate in the second half tied the contest at 3-3 before Iowa State drove down the field for the first touchdown of the game on a Brock Purdy pass to La’Michael Pettway. 

A UNI field goal made it 10-6. On the next drive Purdy was ruled to have fumbled the ball under pressure, and it was returned for a Panthers touchdown, giving UNI a 13-10 lead late in the third quarter. 

After stalling on their next two drives, the Cyclones thought they had the game-winning touchdown then Purdy scrambled eight yards to the end zone. Instead, it was called back for a hold and Iowa State settled for a field goal to tie the game at 13.

UNI was unable to score on the next drive and the game went to overtime.

After swapping field goals in the first overtimes, Iowa State struck first in the second OT with a Pettway touchdown grab. After picking up a fourth-down with the game on the line, Will McElvain found UNI running back Trevor Allen in the end zone to tie the game at 23 and send it to triple overtime. 

After nearly losing the game on a Sheldon Croney fumble that was recovered by Brock Purdy, Croney scored the game-winner from one yard out to give the Cyclones a 1-0 start to the season.