Jackrabbits defeat Salukis for Hobo Day win



The conditions didn’t seem to align for a shootout at Coughlin-Alumni Stadium on Saturday but that didn’t prevent Southern Illinois and SDSU from racking up the points.

In the end, the Jacks were able to outpace the Salukis, 45-34, to pick up a win in the 98th Hobo Day game and perhaps the manner in which they were able to win was most surprising, given the conditions.

Austin Sumner continued his passing prowess with 328 yards and four touchdowns and the duo of Aaron Rollin and Dale Moss each had two touchdowns as part of big days. Each of the receivers had five catches and Moss went for 139 yards and Rollin had 133 receiving yards, leading the Jackrabbits to their second-straight victory.

Rarely used senior running back Dom Clare had a resilient four-yard touchdown run late in the game, the first of his career. With the Jacks up eight and trying to salt the game away late, Justin Syrovatka, who has struggled with short kicks as of late, nailed a 47-yard field goal to put the Jackrabbits up 11 points with 2:54 left.

“We live by and hopefully this is an example, ‘You play in the present.’ If you believe in your players and you give that to them, they’ll respond. That was a big kick for him and he looked like he was walking in the park,” SDSU coach John Stiegelmeier said.

As for the wind, no worries for the redshirt freshman, who threw over 300 yards for the fifth time this season.

“We were kinda prepared for it. We just went out and executed the gameplan,” Sumner said

“We were excited about that,” Stiegelmeier said of his passing game. “We would like to run the ball better but our fat guys did a good job and Austin hung in there and we have good receivers.”

The Jackrabbits constructed a 35-14 lead at halftime and were looking strong to run away with their third straight Hobo Day victory until the Salukis rallied, powered behind a 56 yard touchdown run by former Iowa running back Jewel Hampton. Hampton had 167 yards on 28 carries and two touchdowns and SIU was down 35-28 after three quarters until Clare’s punishing run in the fourth quarter.

SDSU is now 4-6 and will face Western Illinois in their season finale.