Michael Bates threw for 374 and four touchdowns – three of them to senior Brock Thompson – and Illinois College improved to 2-0 with a 34-27 win over Carroll University in its Midwest Conference opener on Saturday in Jacksonville.
IC took its first lead of the game with 3:30 left in the fourth quarter when Matt Williamson ran 14 yards up the middle to put the Blueboys ahead. Bates found Williamson on the 2-point conversion pass to put IC up by seven moments later and the IC defense sealed the victory when Michael Ranos intercepted a Carroll pass with just under a minute remaining.
"I was happy with the adjustments we made at halftime, both offensively and defensively," Illinois College head coach Garrett Campbell said. "Our guys showed a lot of courage today and showed what it takes to win."
Ranos' interception was one of five turnovers forced by the IC defense on Saturday. The IC offense didn't commit a turnover.
Bates spread the ball around to nine different receivers, with Thompson's 10 receptions for 162 yards and three scores leading the way. Kevin Wallace had five catches for 62 yards and Colin Duling had five catches for 57 yards and a touchdown.
Eric Fisher led the IC defense with 17 tackles and one of the team's four interceptions; Carter Cox, Dylan DeFauw and Ranos had the others. Tim Denney had 13 tackles with four passes broken up. Zack Meyer, Stephen Odarczenko and Robert Stallworth each tallied a quarterback sack.
Illinois College, off to a 2-0 start for the first time since 2004, plays at Lake Forest College next Saturday at 1 p.m.