CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) Will McElvain threw a touchdown pass and Trevor Allen ran for another score in the first half, and Northern Iowa held off Indiana State for a 17-9 victory on Saturday night.

The FCS seventh-ranked Panthers (7-3, 5-1 Missouri Valley Football Conference) remain a game back of conference leader and top-ranked North Dakota State. Indiana State (3-7, 1-5) has lost four straight games.

McElvain threw a 25-yard TD pass to Suni Lane, Matthew Cook kicked a 22-yard field goal and Allen ran into the end zone from the 13 as the Panthers led 17-6 at halftime.

Jerry Nunez kicked a pair of field goals for the Sycamores in the first half and added a 28-yarder to cap the scoring with 8:21 remaining in the third quarter.

Indiana State had its final possession with 5 minutes to play and drove to the Northern Iowa 38 with less than two minutes left. But the drive ended when Elerson Smith forced quarterback Kurtis Wilderman to fumble the ball and Jared Brinkman recovered it for the Panthers.

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