Football hosts EIU for Black Out Cancer Game

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    Nov. 9, 2011

    By John Lock

    Complete Game NotesGet Acrobat Reader

    Game Day Quick Facts
    RADIO: Saluki Sports Network with Mike Reis (play-by-play), Gene Green and Joel Sambursky on WVZA 105.1-FM in Carbondale. Other radio affiliates in the PDF at the top of the page.
    VIDEO STREAMING: (Premium)
    KICKOFF: 2 p.m.

    SIU hosts Eastern Illinois for the final home game of the year. Kickoff for the Black Out Cancer Game is set for 2 p.m....Fans can listen to the game on the Saluki Sports Network with the call of Hall of Fame broadcaster Mike Reis, who will be joined by Gene Green and Joel Sambursky. Tune into WVZA 105.1 in Carbondale to hear Reis' call...The 2011 season marks the 99th year of football at Southern Illinois and the 96th season fielding a team (SIU did not have teams in 1918, 1920 and 1943 because of the World Wars)...Primary Care Group won the top bid for the Black Out Cancer jersey and picked Mike McElroy's jersey to honor Jack Nolen...Jewel Hampton is tied for the conference lead with 13 touchdowns...Jayson DiManche has climbed into the top 20 in school history in career tackles for loss...Head coach Dale Lennon needs one win to tie Carmen Piccone for the sixth most victories in school history with 28.

    Saluki Headlines
    • The Black Out Cancer campaign raised $89,890 from winning bids, and school officials anticipate the total sum of gifts to the campaign will exceed $100,000.
    Paul McIntosh will miss the remainder of the season with a shoulder injury.
    • After recording three sacks total in the previous three games, SIU came up with three sacks against SDSU, the fourth three-sack or more game this season.

    The following 18 seniors will be honored for senior day: OT Scott Becker, C Bryan Boemer, DE Chance Coda, LB Scott Cole, G George Danilkowicz, WR Cam Fuller, FB John Goode, S Rashad Graham, RB Shariff Harris, LB Connor James, CB Nick King, LB Blair Lane, LB Travis Littles, S Mike McElroy, OT David Pickard, TE C.J. Robertson, DT Kyle Russo and G Matt Van Dril.

    For Starters...
    Jewel Hampton is attempting to become the 19th player in school history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season. With his 167 yards last week, Hampton is just 167 more yards short of the mark with two games to play. Hampton is averaging better than 92 yards per game on the ground. He has four 100-yard rushing performances in 2011 and five in his career. He has gotten more than 20 carries in six of the last seven games. The last Saluki to rush for 1,000 yards was Deji Karim in 2009. SIU had a 1,000-yard rusher every season from 1998-2009, but the streak was snapped last year. Including his two years at Iowa, Hampton has 1,410 career yards. Only nine previous Salukis have rushed for 2,000 career yards.

    The Eastern Illinois Panthers
    Legendary head coach Bob Spoo will be coaching the final game of his career against Southern Illinois. He is in his 25th season as head coach of Eastern Illinois and is tied with Frank Beamer (Virginia Tech) for the fourth longest tenured coach in Division I. He has led the Panthers to the playoffs 13 times. Spoo has been coaching at the high school and collegiate level for 50 years.

    This season, the Panthers are 2-8 and finished 1-7 in the OVC. After a season-opening win against Illinois State, EIU lost seven straight games. The Panthers rebounded for a 19-10 win against Austin Peay two weeks ago but lost to Tennessee State by a point last week in Spoo's last home game.

    The Panthers are led by their quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo. He leads a solid passing attack and averages 235.8 yards per game through the air. Garoppolo has thrown for 19 touchdowns and 2,368 yards; he completes nearly 62 percent of his passes. He spreads the ball around to a wide range of receivers; eight different Panthers average double-digit yards per game receiving. Chris Wright leads the way with 61.5 yards per game and 36 receptions on the year. Wright has caught 10 of Garoppolo's 19 touchdown passes. The Panther ground game only averages 86.2 yards per game rushing. Jake Walker leads the rushing attack with 57.0 yards per game and seven touchdowns. Walker rushed for 109 yards past week against Tennessee Tech.

    SIU vs. EIU - The Series
    Southern Illinois has only played the Panthers four times since the turn of the century, but the series dates back to the beginnings of Saluki football. SIU's fifth-ever game was against the Panthers, and the two teams met 44 times between 1913 and 1961. The rivalry heated up again in the 80s, when the teams met nine more times. Since 2000, the Salukis dropped the 2001 contest 49-21. The three matchups since--in 2005, 2007 and 2009--were all playoff games and the Salukis won all three games.

    The last time the teams met was in the 2009 playoffs. The Salukis ended EIU's season with a dominating 48-7 win. SIU forced six turnovers--one interception and five fumble recoveries. Eastern Illinois hadn't allowed a 100-yard rusher all season, and both Deji Karim and Paul McIntosh rushed for more than 100 yards. Nose tackle Kyle Russo retuned a fumble 28 yards for a touchdown in the game.

    About the Black Out Cancer Game
    Senior safety Mike McElroy petitioned the NCAA to allow Southern Illinois to auction off the names on the backs of the jerseys for the Eastern Illinois game. After initially being rejected, McElroy personally hand wrote a letter to the NCAA and was granted a one-time waiver for the event. SIU raised private funds to buy the jerseys, and 80 bidders won the right to pick a name of a cancer victim or survivor for the back of their jersey. After the game, bidders will get their jersey to keep. Nearly 200 people bid on the 80 jerseys, with the top 80 bidders winning a jersey.

    The winning bidders from the 80 jerseys totaled $89,890, and school officials expect donations to push the total over $100,000. All the proceeds go to the American Cancer Society and Coaches vs. Cancer.

    Black Out Cancer jerseys raise nearly $90,000
    Bidding for Black Out Cancer jerseys ended Sunday at 11:59 p.m. In total, the top 80 bids added to $89,890, all of which will go to the American Cancer Society. The bidding saw a lot of action in the last week; the top 80 bids' total increased more than $25,000 in the last week of bidding alone. There were 34 bids of $1,000 or more, including 13 bids of $2,000 or more. The lowest bid that will be awarded a jersey is $600.

    McElroy moves into fourth in school career interceptions
    Mike McElroy picked off his first two passes of the season against South Dakota State. McElroy now has three two-intercpetion games in his career. McElroy hadn't had an interception since the Illinois game in 2010, and the two picks moved him into fourth in school history in career interceptions. He is one interception shy of tying Korey Lindsey for third, with 14. Terry Taylor (20) and Greg Shipp (18) hold the top two spots.

    Hampton has career day rushing vs. Jacks
    Jewel Hampton set career highs in carries (28), yards (167) and longest rush (56) against South Dakota State. Hampton also rushed for two touchdowns, but he couldn't bring the Salukis back from an early 21-point deficit. Hampton's rushing total of 167 yards was the most by a Saluki since Deji Karim rushed for 273 yards against Illinois State in 2009. Hampton is now just 147 yards shy of becoming the 19th player in school history to record a 1,000-yard rushing season.

    Hampton had his second consecutive two-touchdown game, bringing his career total to seven multi-touchdown games. He has five multi-touchdown games this season and 21 touchdowns in 23 career games.

    Stats don't equal wins for Salukis
    SIU has won most of the statistical battles in 2011. The Salukis are averaging more yards, first downs and time of possession than their opponents. SIU is even in turnover margin and converts third downs at a higher percentage than opponents. The Salukis have more sacks and fewer penalties, and they average nearly a yard better per rush. They have recorded more than 400 yards offense in six games and time of possession in seven and held opponents under 320 yards of total offense five times.

    Coming into the year, head coach Dale Lennon was 14-1 when SIU rushed for 200 yards; this year, SIU is 2-3 when it gets 200 yards rushing. Lennon started the year 16-1 when a player rushed for 100 yards in a game, but the Salukis are just 1-4 this year.The Salukis were a perfect 11-0 when holding an opponent to 10 points or fewer but lost to North Dakota State, 9-3, earlier in the year.

    Carrie Belleville // #22 // Honoring her father, Mark
    Carrie Belleville is a freshman at SIU. During spring of her senior year of high school, her dad, Mark, was feeling pains and had some tests. The doctor said it could be many things, and there was a very slight chance that it could be prostate cancer. After more tests, he found out it was prostate cancer. He broke the news to Carrie and her younger sister, who was a sophomore in high school, the day before spring break 2011. Mark had surgery this fall during Carrie's first semester at SIU, and he is now cancer-free. Carrie took it upon herself to start a group effort with friends and family to raise the money and bid on a jersey to honor her father and celebrate his health.

    Primary Care Group // #26 // Honoring their friend, Jack
    Jack T. Nolen had beat cancer twice, but passed away from melanoma this summer. He was a policeman, an employee at Primary Care and a well-known figure in Saline County. Jack's wife Paulina is an SIU season ticket holder, and her good friend, Theresa Richey works at Primary Care Group in Harrisburg, Ill. Theresa started the campaign, but it was a group effort from the whole community. The group raised enough funds to win the first overall choice of jersey, and it picked senior safety Mike McElroy, who made the Black Out Cancer Game a reality.

    Susan Justice // #38 // Honoring her husband, Carl
    Carl Justice is in the Eldorado High School Hall of Fame and Carmi High School Hall of Fame. He quarterbacked Eldorado to an undefeated 1957 season and in 1975 coached Carmi to an undefeated regular season and the school's first ever playoff berth. He remained popular in the area for his football success long after his days as a head coach. After a long battle with cancer, he died last December at the age of 70. His wife of 27 years, Susan, led the fund-raising efforts to bid on #38, which was his jersey number from high school.

    Mike Reis // #88 // Honoring his father, Bob
    Hall of Fame broadcaster Mike Reis has been the voice of the Salukis for 33 years. He teamed with his two brothers and mother to win a jersey for his father, Bob Reis. Bob passed away of colon cancer in 1988, and the Reises picked David Lewis's No. 88 jersey to honor him. "I'm trying to tell the coaches that (Lewis) needs to be heavily involved in the game plan," Reis said.

    Several Saluki players and their families also raised enough money to purchase a jersey.

    - Rik Hicks's family purchased #44 for Lisa Hicks, Rik's mother, a seven-year breast cancer survivor.
    - Tanner Crum's family purchased #65 for Carlene Kincaid, Tanner's grandmother, a breast cancer survivor. "This is a great fundraiser for American Cancer Society," Crum said. "Thank you to Mike McElroy for putting this all together!"
    - Kory Faulkner's family purchased #13 for Ronnie "Buddy" Blair, Kory's uncle, who died of lung cancer this past summer. The Faulkners picked John Lantz's jersey after Faulkner's, which was taken second overall, was taken. "We though John would be a great person to represent my uncle," Faulkner said.
    - Joe Okon's family purchased #41 for Joe's great-grandmother, Marion Hodeck, who passed away from bone marrow cancer in 1985. "I'm extremely proud to represent her on my jersey," Okon said.