K-State holds off Southern Illinois in home opener

Kansas State quarterback Skylar Thompson had to be helped back to the locker room after...
Kansas State quarterback Skylar Thompson had to be helped back to the locker room after sustaining an injury.(WIBW)
Published: Sep. 11, 2021 at 10:54 PM CDT
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MANHATTAN, Kansas – Deuce Vaughn rushed for 120 yards and three touchdowns to help K-State hold off Southern Illinois by the score of 31-23 on Saturday evening.

The Cats (2-0) held a 21-3 advantage early in the second quarter after a pair of scores by a Vaughn and a rushing touchdown by Will Howard. The visitors responded and scored three straight touchdowns to take a 23-21 advantage to the halftime break.

A 34-yard field goal by Taiten Winkel gave the Cats a 24-23 lead midway through the third. The defense took over from there. Vaughn added his third rushing score, and a fumble recovery by Timmy Horne sealed the win before 47,628 fans at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

Malik Knowles caught four passes for 112 yards. Howard threw for 55 yards in relief of Skylar Thompson, who suffered an injury early in the game.

K-State finished with 381 yards of offense on the night, including 209 rushing yards. Joe Ervin added 47 rushing yards for K-State.

TJ Smith, Jahron McPherson, Julius Brents and Cody Fletcher all had five tackles for K-State defensively. Jaylen Pickle added an interception in the win.

Nic Baker threw for 176 yards for Southern Illinois (1-1). Javon Williams, Jr. rushed for 46 yards with a pair of scores for the Salukis.

K-State quarterback Skylar Thompson left the game in the first half with an apparent leg injury, Chris Klieman did not have an update during postgame press conferences.

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