The McKendree Bearcats dropped their first Great Lakes Valley Conference game of the 2013 season Saturday night at home against the University of Indianapolis, 45-7.
Indianapolis, the No. 21-ranked team in the latest American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division II coaches' poll, built a 21-point lead in the first quarter and never looked back on its way to a 2-0 start in the GLVC. McKendree slips to 2-3 overall and 1-1 in the conference.
The Bearcats will hit the road for its next two games, beginning with a 2 p.m. contest next Saturday (Oct. 19) at Truman State University.
Sophomore quarterback Isaac Fisher completed 16-of-28 pass attempts for 110 yards on the evening. Fisher connected with sophomore wide receiver Cameron James for the Bearcats' only touchdown of the night, a 22-yard scoring pass in the opening minute of the second quarter. James also posted a team-leading 42 rushing yards on just three attempts, including a 38-yard burst.
Junior wide receiver Dewayne Gatti had a game-high six receptions for 42 yards to lead McKendree. Gatti now has 33 receptions on the year, and needs just six to tie the Bearcats' single-season mark of 39, set just last year by Pat Doty.
Sophomore linebacker Alec Gerdes registered a game-high eight tackles for McKendree, while sophomore defensive back Jackson Carver, freshman linebacker Jeremiah Wilkins and senior linebacker Javar Murphy each added six stops. Senior defensive back Tirell Anderson had the Bearcats' lone takeaway in the game, an interception just before halftime.
Indianapolis running back Klay Fiechter, who rushed for a game-high 124 yards on just 14 carries, scored twice in the opening quarter, including a 71-yard scamper on the second play from scrimmage. Fiechter later added a 30-yard burst in the final 90 seconds of the period that gave the Greyhounds a 21-0 lead. Fisher and James answered on the Bearcats' next drive to cut the deficit to 21-7.
A 37-yard field goal by Scott Miller and a 60-yard touchdown pass from Connor Barthel to Greg Johnson completed the first half scoring to push Indianapolis (5-1) out to a 31-7 halftime lead. A 73-yard interception return by Koby Orris and another Barthel TD pass accounted for the only scores of the second half.
Barthel completed 14-of-19 passes for 247 yards. He completed passes to seven different receivers, including a team-high four to Reece Horn.