Millikin 42, Illinois College 31
Jacksonville, Ill. — Wilson's Record Breaking Day
Carries Big Blue Football to Win over Illinois College
The Millikin football team opened its 2010 season in record setting fashion when Dion Wilson rushed for a school record 278 yards to lead the Big Blue past Illinois College 42-31.
Wilson gained his 278 yards on 34 carries to set a new Millikin record for rushing yards in a game. The old record was 249 yards and was set in 1992 by Mark Ambrose. Wilson had five touchdowns on the day.
Wilson started the scoring on Millikin's opening drive when he scored on a three yard run to put the Big Blue up 7-0 after the Chris Hunt PAT. Wilson carried the ball on seven of the drives eight plays. The drive covered 47 yards and was set up by a 40 yard kickoff return by Kody Smith to start the game.
On Illinois College's first possession, the Blueboys punter Jordan Marks bobbled the snap and was forced to run with the football. Marks lost 14 yards on the play and gave Millikin the ball at the Illinois College six yard line.
Wilson then put Millikin up 14-0 on a four yard run.
Wilson would score from eight yards out to put the Big Blue on top 21-0 with 9:18 left in the second quarter.
Illinois College added a touchdown before half on a Chase Davis run and it was a 21-7 at halftime.
With just over eight minutes left in the third quarter Wilson scored on a 28 yard run to put Millikin up 28-7.
An Illinois College field goal and a three yard touchdown pass from Mitch Niekamp to Brock Doehering cut the Millikin advantage to 28-17.
Millikin then answered by early in the fourth quarter on a 10 yard touchdown pass from Luke Hockaday to Chris Hampton who made a one handed catch as the entered the end zone on a slant pattern.
Illinois College kept fighting and scored on a Davis two yard run with 2:27 left to play to make it 35-23.
Millikin iced the game on a 13 yard Dion Wilson run with 1:39 to play to make it 42-23.
Illinois College scored in the final minute on a seven yard touchdown pass to make it 42-31.
Wilson's 278 yards propelled the Big Blue to 306 yards rushing while the Millikin defense held Illinois College to minus four yards rushing.
The Blueboys got its offense through the air throwing for 367 yards.
Kody Smith had a strong game for Millikin with 159 all purpose yards including 57 in kickoff returns and 94 yards in punt returns.
Niekamp was Illinois College's top offensive performer going 36-54-3 for 367 yards and two touchdowns.
Sully Edwards was the Big Blue's top tackler with nine total tackles including three tackles for a loss. Chase Gruening has five tackles with 1.5 sacks and three quarterback hurries. The Big Blue had three interceptions on the day with Sonnie Rollins, Cody Acree and Josh Ingold all coming up with picks.
Ricky Padilla lead Illinois College with nine tackles. Erick Beimfohr had eight tackles and two interceptions.
Millikin is off next week and will host Hope College on Sept. 18 at 1 p.m. at Frank M. Lindsay Field.