Despite a strong performance by fifth-year senior quarterback Mike Piatkowski, the Bulldogs (1-2) fell to the Indiana State Sycamores (2-1) 27-10 in Terre Haute, Ind., on Saturday. Shakir Bell, a Payton Award finalist, was the story for the No. 22 Sycamores, setting a school record with 349 yards rushing on 33 carries.
Drake jumped on the board first with a field goal by sophomore Spencer Lee to take a 3-0 lead to cap all first quarter scoring. Early in the second quarter, Indiana State roared back with a touchdown pass from Mike Perish to Demory Lawshe.
Piatkowski then found senior Nick Rosa for a seven yard touchdown strike to give Drake its final points of the day and give them a 10-7 lead. The Sycamores would tie up the game before halftime.
In the second half, Bell took over as he totaled 108 yards on just his two touchdown runs in the third quarter. Another field goal in the fourth quarter and a defensive stop by the Sycamore defense was all Indiana State needed to close out the game, propelling them to the win.
Piatkoswki continued his assault on the record books with another spectacular day through the air, going 31-for-53 with 329 yards passing, a touchdown and an interception. Piatkowski has thrown for 911 yards on the season, moving him closer to the all-time passing record at Drake.
The running game struggled against a swarming Indiana State defense, accumulating only 43 yards on 26 carries, led by junior T.J. James with 29 rushing yards. Senior Joey Orlando led all receivers with six receptions, but it was sophomore running back Gary Scott Jr. who led the receivers with 83 yards receiving, including a 41-yard reception.
On defense, the Bulldog line couldn’t get much of anything going, getting a sack from senior Brandon Coleman on the Sycamores’ opening drive but nothing for the rest of the game.
Sophomore safety Bob Quilico Jr. led all defenders with 11 total tackles, followed by sophomore Jon Hugunin with 10. Sophomore Drew Ormseth created the only takeaway for Drake with an interception in the first quarter. The pass defense only allowed 94 yards on the day.
Drake closes out non-conference play with a 1-2 record, falling twice to top 25 programs. The Bulldogs begin conference play on Saturday as Morehead State comes to Drake Stadium.