/seasons/2011/contrib/201111199kbp4c

Little Giants Run Past Illinois College

More news about: Wabash

C.J. Gum and the Wabash defense were the difference Saturday in Wabash's first-round NCAA playoff win over Illinois College, 38-20. The starting defense held the visiting Blueboys' offense, which entered the game averaging 41 a contest, to just six points. IC added two late touchdowns against Wabash substitutions.

Illinois College finished 9-2 while Wabash improved to 11-0. The Little Giants will face North Central (10-1) Saturday, Nov. 26. The Cardinals ousted the University of Dubuque Saturday, 59-13. The NCAA will announce the location of the game Sunday

Illinois College's first foray into post-season play started well enough. After Tyler Holmes got Wabash on the board with a 4-yard run, the Blueboys responded with an Adam Fricke 2-yard catch from freshman quarterback Michael Bates, 7-6.

But after that initial drive the Wabash defense was again dominating. And after the game, No. 33 (or C.J. Gum) was still on the visitors' minds.

"Number 33 is obviously a big dude in there and he directs them," said IC freshman quarterback Michael Bates. "He has the play sheet on his wrist and he tells them what to do. He tells everybody what to do. Every tackle goes through him. We tried to get a little mis-direction stuff going with me and it just didn't go because of him. He's a heck of a football player. He was the key."

Little Giant coach Erik Raeburn had to get plenty of satisfaction with his team's defensive performance. "I'm really proud of how well our starting defense played," he said. "We thought they were explosive on offense and when our starters were out there they had a hard time moving the football."

The Blueboys rushed for just 29 yards and picked up 193 passing. Their total offense of 222 yards was substantially below their 499 yard offensive average. "I think they did a lot of the things we saw on film, what we prepared for," Gum said. "We did have guys flying around."

IC Coach Campbell Garrett said the Wabash defense was "by far the fastest defense we've played all year. They were really fast. Number 33 is a heck of a football player and he's surrounded by some other great players who are extremely talented. They're big and you can look at the heights and weights but their speed is what is going to keep them progressing throughout the playoffs."

As the defense clamped down after IC's first drive, the offense came alive. Chase Belton and Tyler Holmes scored on runs of three and four yards to put Wabash up 21-6 mid-way through the second quarter. The Little Giants took complete control of the game just before halftime when Belton found Jonathan Horn for a 14-yard TD, 28-6.

Holmes led Wabash with 97 rushing yards while Vann Hunt added 94. Wabash ran the ball 62 times for 280 yards.

"You have to give credit to the line," Holmes said. "Without them we're not going to be able to do anything that we do. I thought today the line was sustaining their blocks long enough that we could do what we know we can do."

Belton had an efficient day passing with the run game clicking. The junior quarterback hit 11 of 19 passes for 135 yards and two touchdowns.

The Little Giants wrapped up their scoring in the third quarter starting with an Ian MacDougall 24-yard field goal. Then Belton found Wes Chamblee on a 16-yard scoring strike with 1:39 remaining in the third quarter, 38-6.

"The line blocked well and gave me enough time," Belton said. "I know when I hand it off to Vann and Tyler that they're going to make plays. And we handled the wind a lot better today."

Last week Wabash completed just two passes in windy conditions against DePauw.

Raeburn substituted liberally in the final quarter. The Blueboys added two late touchdowns, aided by a recovered on-side kick.

Cecil Brimmage scored on a 3-yard run, then following the kick recovery Bates hit Brock Thompson from 19 yards for the final score.

"I think we have learned as an entire program how to play in the playoffs now," Campbell said. "We now understand the expectations and the atmosphere and everything that goes along with it. I think that's critically important."

The Blueboys had an odd path to the playoffs. They finished 9-1 on Nov. 5 but in second place in their conference. They had to wait a week to learn they would compete again this year. They return a very young roster for next year.

"It was surreal really," said tight end Adam Fricke who caught the Blueboys' first score. "Two weeks ago we finished the season and didn't know if we were going to have the chance to play again. We had Senior Day at home and I thought I'd played my last game. Getting an opportunity to even be here, make the trip, get to be in on that play and score a touchdown … it took awhile for reality to set in. It was unlike anything I've ever experienced."

The experience continues for Wabash. North Central is a power running team. So for the second week in a row the Wabash defense will be tested by a team with a powerful offense that has scored more than 50 points in five games this year.

Sep. 23: All times Eastern
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at Framingham State 50, Massachusetts Maritime 7
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Muhlenberg 56, at Juniata 40
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at Dean 25, Becker 10
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Salisbury 27, at TCNJ 7
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MIT 38, at Catholic 21
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Merchant Marine 56, at Maine Maritime 31
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at Hobart 34, Endicott 17
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at Morrisville State 44, Nichols 22
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at Delaware Valley 27, Stevenson 7
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at Albright 9, Widener 7
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Christopher Newport 16, at Montclair State 8
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at Westminster (Pa.) 41, Bethany 14
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Middlebury 41, at Bowdoin 14
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Williams 24, at Colby 7
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Amherst 36, at Hamilton 6
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Ursinus 35, at Moravian 17
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Trinity (Conn.) 51, at Bates 0
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at LaGrange 38, Brevard 28
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Geneva 33, at Thiel 24
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at Plymouth State 37, Mass-Dartmouth 7
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Kean 28, at Southern Virginia 14
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Frostburg State 24, at Rowan 10
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Union 17, at Curry 14
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at Carnegie Mellon 37, Thomas More 17
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Lycoming 44, at King's 41
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at Western New England 21, Husson 14
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Johns Hopkins 41, at Dickinson 10
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at DePauw 51, Wooster 24
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at Ohio Wesleyan 37, Allegheny 21
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at Misericordia 43, Wilkes 14
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at Alfred 45, Rochester 7
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Wesley 66, at William Paterson 0
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at N.C. Wesleyan 35, Maryville (Tenn.) 25
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Huntingdon 31, at Ferrum 28
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at McDaniel 27, Gettysburg 20
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at Buffalo State 33, RPI 21
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Franklin and Marshall 27, at Susquehanna 24
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at Denison 45, Oberlin 17
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at Northwestern (Minn.) 10, Westminster (Mo.) 7
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at Eureka 44, Crown 20
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at Lebanon Valley 24, FDU-Florham 14
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at Heidelberg 47, John Carroll 21
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at Ohio Northern 35, Otterbein 7
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at Mount Union 55, Baldwin Wallace 7
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at Rose-Hulman 37, Defiance 14
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at Marietta 49, Muskingum 25
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Franklin 59, at Bluffton 30
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at Hanover 64, Anderson 21
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Mount St. Joseph 31, at Manchester 14
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Worcester State 34, at Westfield State 10
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Coast Guard 13, at Norwich 9
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at Fitchburg State 31, Bridgewater State 29
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Wittenberg 48, at Kenyon 11
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at Wabash 25, Hiram 21
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North Central (Ill.) 51, at Millikin 21
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at Millsaps 17, Sewanee 13
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at Rhodes 35, Birmingham-Southern 9
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at Hendrix 36, Austin 24
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at Martin Luther 34, Greenville 20
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at Trinity (Texas) 41, Chapman 35
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at Loras 73, Buena Vista 34
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at Wartburg 30, Washington U. 20
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at Gustavus Adolphus 51, Hamline 7
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Augsburg 48, at Carleton 28
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at Bethel 64, St. Olaf 7
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at Luther 21, Dubuque 17
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at Central 52, Nebraska Wesleyan 27
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Simpson 38, at Coe 33
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Wheaton (Ill.) 40, at Elmhurst 15
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St. Norbert 66, at Grinnell 13
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at Knox 13, Ripon 6
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at MacMurray 32, Iowa Wesleyan 14
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Hardin-Simmons 63, at Howard Payne 3
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Southwestern 37, at Louisiana College 34
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Monmouth 26, at Macalester 0
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at St. Thomas 20, St. John's 17
@ Target Field, Minneapolis
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at Springfield 42, WPI 10
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at Cornell 55, Beloit 36
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at Brockport 28, Utica 14
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at Hartwick 24, St. John Fisher 21
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at UW-La Crosse 41, Carroll 6
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at St. Scholastica 37, Minnesota-Morris 3
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at George Fox 44, UW-Eau Claire 0
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at Western Connecticut 37, Salve Regina 23
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at UW-Stevens Point 41, Adrian 28
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at Wesleyan 24, Tufts 17
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at Averett 35, Methodist 6
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at Berry 28, Centre 14
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at Case Western Reserve 56, Waynesburg 21
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at Grove City 24, St. Vincent 14
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at Illinois Wesleyan 18, North Park 0
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at Mary Hardin-Baylor 50, Texas Lutheran 7
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at UW-Platteville 56, Lakeland 22
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Carthage 55, at Augustana 14
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Chicago 28, at Illinois College 7
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at Sul Ross State 35, McMurry 7
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at Wilmington 37, Capital 30
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Lake Forest 42, at Lawrence 26
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at East Texas Baptist 79, Belhaven 40
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Arizona Christian 56, at Whittier 38
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Sep. 23: All times Eastern
Final
at Delaware Valley 27, Stevenson 7
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Wesley 66, at William Paterson 0
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at Alfred 45, Rochester 7
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Johns Hopkins 41, at Dickinson 10
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Frostburg State 24, at Rowan 10
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at Heidelberg 47, John Carroll 21
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at Mount Union 55, Baldwin Wallace 7
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Wittenberg 48, at Kenyon 11
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at Wabash 25, Hiram 21
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Hardin-Simmons 63, at Howard Payne 3
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North Central (Ill.) 51, at Millikin 21
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Wheaton (Ill.) 40, at Elmhurst 15
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at St. Thomas 20, St. John's 17
@ Target Field, Minneapolis
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at Brockport 28, Utica 14
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at Case Western Reserve 56, Waynesburg 21
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at Illinois Wesleyan 18, North Park 0
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at UW-Platteville 56, Lakeland 22
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at Mary Hardin-Baylor 50, Texas Lutheran 7
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