Big Blue Lose Football Opener in Overtime
The Millikin University football team lost a heartbreaker to Illinois College 34-30 in overtime in the 2011 season opener on September 3 at Frank M. Lindsey Field.
Millikin opened up a 28-20 lead with 43 seconds left to play when quarterback Matt Holmes converted on fourth and goal with a touchdown pass from eight yards out to Erik Tobey.
After the kickoff, Illinois College started its final drive of regulation at their own
40 yard line with 35 seconds remaining. The Blueboys faced a fourth and five as the clock wound down when freshman quarterback Michael Bates scrambled for 21 yards going out of bounds with just seconds remaining. As the game clock hit zero, Bates connected on a 34 yard Hail Mary pass to Kevin Fuller to make it 28-26 Millikin. Illinois College then converted the two-point conversion on a Bates to Brock Thompson pass.
The game went to overtime tied at 28-28 and then things got even a little weirder. Bates connected with Colin Duling on a five yard pass on the Blueboys overtime possession to make it 34-28. On the extra point attempt the snap was fumbled and Millikin's Cody Acree went the length of the field with the fumble recovery with flags littering the field at midfield.
After a meeting by the officials, Millikin was awarded the two-point conversion to make it 34-30 and both teams were called for offsetting personal fouls.
On Millikin's overtime possession, the Big Blue went for the quick strike with Holmes pass being intercepted by Eric Fisher to seal the victory for Illinois College.
Illinois College opened the scoring in first quarter on a Bates to Thompson eight yard pass, but the Blueboys extra point was blocked by Millikin's Darrell Mitchell.
Trailing 6-0, Millikin answered on a nine yard pass from Jacob Alvis to Mike Blakely.
The teams added a rushing touchdown in the second quarter with Illinois College scoring on a Matt Williamson scored from three yards out and Holmes scored on his own three yard plunge. Millikin was up 14-13 at the half.
Illinois College went up 20-14 in the third period when Cecil Brimmage scored on a 27 yard run.
Millikin would answer to make it 21-20 when Holmes hit Tobey on a 79 scoring play with 9:34 left in the fourth quarter.
Illinois College rushed for 225 yards and threw for 263. Millikin had 168 yards through the air and 150 yards on the ground. A key stat in the game was Millikin's defensive performance on fourth down. The Big Blue stopped the Blueboys on fourth down on four different occasions.
For Millikin, Tyler Roush was the leading rusher with 94 yards on 20 carries. Millikin played two quarterbacks with Holmes going 7-12-1 for 125 yards and two touchdowns while Alvis converted on 4-7-1 passing for 43 yards and one touchdown.
Tobey had 87 yards receiving and two touchdowns. On defense, Keith Burczak had 16 tackles.
For Illinois College, Bates was 21-32 passing for 263 yards passing and three touchdowns. He also rushed for 36 yards. Brimmage led the Blueboys on the ground with 98 yards. Colin Duling was the top receiver with six catches for 85 yards.
Millikin will look to rebound next Saturday when they travel to Greenville College for a 1 p.m. kickoff.