ELMHURST, Ill. - The Elmhurst College football team scored 30 points in the opening quarter en route to a 64-14 victory over Olivet College in the Bluejays' first-ever night game at Langhorst Field.
The 64 points is the second-highest single-game point total in school history, matching the Bluejays' effort against North Park during the 1983 season. The Bluejays fell one point shy of equaling the school's single-game point total of 65, set against Aurora in 1930.
Elmhurst (2-0) scored touchdowns on offense, defense, and special teams. The Bluejays came away with eight turnovers and took advantage of a short field all night long, totaling 64 points while amassing just 395 yards of offense.
Rodney Payton finished the day with three touchdowns for the Bluejays. He caught four passes for 78 yards and two touchdowns while also returning a kickoff for a touchdown.
The Bluejays scored early and often, totaling 30 points in the game's first 13:01. Elmhurst got on the scoreboard less than three minutes into the game when a bobbled snap a punt, allowed Elmhurst's Alvin Chackungal to tackle Olivet punter Blake Iobe in the end zone for a safety. After the free kick, the Bluejays needed just 42 seconds to take a 9-0 lead. Payton made a diving, one-handed reception in the end zone on a 39-yard strike from Joe Furco to give the Bluejays the nine-point cushion.
Jon Janus stripped the ball loss from Jon Beach on Olivet's next possession with Jamall Lane recovering the loose ball at the Olivet 45-yard line. The Bluejays took advantage of the short field as Furco needed just six plays to guide the Bluejays to the end zone, capping the drive with a 19-yard touchdown toss to Payton.
Olivet (0-2) continued to struggle with ball control in the opening quarter. A botched pitch on a toss resulted in a fumble that bounced into the Bluejays' Justin Phipps' arms. Phipps raced 32 yards to the end zone to put Elmhurst up 23-0.
After the Comets turned the ball over on downs, Furco engineered the Bluejays' longest scoring drive of the night, a six-play, 77-yard drive capped by an Andrew Tubek 42-yard touchdown run.
Olivet finally got on the scoreboard early in the second quarter, driving 80 yards in 13 plays, with Edric Miller capping the drive with a one-yard touchdown plunge. The Comets had little time to celebrate though, as Payton returned the ensuing kickoff 77 yards for a touchdown to give Elmhurst a 37-7 lead.
After the Bluejay defense stuffed Olivet on a fourth-and-one from the Comets' 41-yard line, Furco hit Corey Thonn for a 30-yard touchdown strike to put the Bluejays on top 44-7.
The Bluejays' starters exited late in the second quarter, but Elmhurst continued to roll in the third quarter. Freshman Andy Nichols scored his first collegiate touchdown on a one-yard plunge, ending a 27-yard scoring drive set up by a 52-yard punt return by Janus.
The Comets scored their final touchdown of the game late in the third quarter as reserve QB Tony Phillips tossed a nine-yard touchdown pass to Jon Beach to end a nine-play, 57-yard drive.
The Bluejays added a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Freshman running back Craig Swift scored on a 16-yard touchdown run early in the quarter, and TJ Storino added a nine-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter to give the Bluejays the 64-14 win.
Swift led the Bluejays on the ground, rushing seven times for 62 yards and a touchdown. Tubek added 50 yards and a touchdown on three carries. Furco finished 7-of-10 for 138 yards and two touchdowns.
Olivet totaled just 281 yards in the contest. Miller was the top rusher for the Comets, carrying 12 times for 73 yards and a score. Mike Martin added 12 carries for 67 yards. Three different Olivet quarterbacks combined to finish 18-of-34 for 149 yards. The Comet QBs were picked off four times by the Bluejays.
Wayne Tuckson led Elmhurst's defense with 10 tackles while Ryan Johnson added nine stops. Lane finished with five tackles, a fumble recovery, and an interception..
Elmhurst takes to the road for the first time next week by traveling to the University of Chicago for a 6:00 p.m. contest on September 17.