MACOMB, Ill. (AP)Nic Baker lofted a pass to Landon Lenoir in the end zone on the first play of overtime, and then the Salukis stifled a Western Illinois two-point conversion try to eke out a 31-30 victory on Saturday night.
Myles Wanza burst 25 yards to score on Western Illinois’ first play of overtime, but the Leathernecks went for the win, and the two-point conversion try by Dennis Houston on a screen pass was stopped at the 10-yard line.
Baker and Lenoir had hooked up with a 32-yard scoring pass early in the first quarter as Southern Illinois (4-1, 2-0 Missouri Valley Football Conference), ranked No. 7 in the FCS coaches poll, grabbed a 7-0 lead in just three plays and 57 seconds.
The Salukis led 21-0 midway through the second quarter after Baker and Donnavan Spencer ran for touchdowns.
The Western Illinois defense stiffened, and the Leathernecks (1-4, 1-1) had whittled the gap to 21-10 by halftime. Holding Southern Illinois to a field goal the rest of regulation, Western Illinois scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns to tie, 24-24 and force OT.
Connor Sampson, who passed for 192 yards, fired touchdown passes of 27 yards to Dallas Daniels and 12 yards to Ludovick Choquette. Wanza had 13 carries for 89 yards.
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