ELMHURST, Ill. - The Elmhurst College football team rushed for 319 yards while scoring a 31-13 win over Trine University in the Bluejays' home-opener at Langhorst Field.
Elmhurst scored on five of its first six possessions and and primarily used a ground attack to run past Trine. Elmhurst running back Scottie Williams was a workhorse for the Bluejays, carrying 35 times for 229 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Williams moved into second place on Elmhurst's all-time rushing list with his performance and needs only 17 yards to become the Bluejays' all-time leading rusher.
Trine (0-1) looked impressive on its opening drive. The Thunder took the opening kickoff and marched 75 yards to the end zone with Ryan Hargraves finding Zachary Hess for a 10-yard touchdown pass. The Thunder's drive spanned 17 plays and ate 8:46 off the clock.
Elmhurst (2-0) responded immediately, with an identical 17-play, 75-yard drive. Williams capped the drive with a two-yard touchdown run to knot the score at 7-7.
The Bluejays took the lead midway through the second quarter. Elmhurst drove 60 yards to the Trine 20-yard line and settled for a 36-yard David Tomis field goal.
Elmhurst's defense came away with the first of three turnovers following the field goal. Jamall Lane picked off a Hargraves pass giving the Bluejays the ball back at their own 40-yard line with just under two minutes to play in the half.
The Bluejays promptly moved down field with Joe Furco hitting Corey Thonn on a 45-yard strike to key the drive. Facing a second-and-goal from the Trine one-yard line, Vince Gabrys attempted to rush in, but was stripped of the ball. Elmhurst lineman Adam Connors recovered the loose ball in the end zone for the touchdown to put Elmhurst up 17-7 at halftime.
Elmhurst took the opening kick in the second half and moved 70 yards in just 10 plays to take a 24-7 lead. Williams sealed the drive with a 15-yard touchdown.
Trine answered the Bluejays' drive with a 10-play, 75-yard drive to pull to within 24-13, but the Bluejays' responded with an 11-play, 75-yard drive capped by a 14-yard touchdown pass from Furco to Ryan Maguire to account for the game's final score.
A pair of fourth quarter turnovers on Trine helped seal the Elmhurst win. Stephen Ritter recovered a Trine fumble at the Bluejays' 10-yard line to end a scoring threat early in the quarter while Alec Giles recorded Elmhurst's second interception of the game late in the quarter.
The Bluejays totaled 475 yards of total offense, with 319 coming on the ground and 156 coming from the passing attack. Trine finished with 350 yards of total offense, rushing for 185 and passing for 165.
Williams led the Bluejays on the ground, recording the third 200-yard rushing game of his career. He moved into second place on Elmhurst's career rushing list with 3,545 yards. He needs just 17 yards next week to become Elmhurst's all-time leading rusher.
Furco finished 8-of-17 through the air for 156 yards and a touchdown. Thonn was the Bluejays' top target, catching four passes for 113 yards.
Hargraves led Trine on the ground with 90 yards rushing on 12 carries. He finished 16-of-22 through the air for 165 yards and a touchdown. Jared Barton added 81 yards rushing on 20 carries. Javonte Hence was Trine's top receiver, hauling in nine passes for 82 yards.
Wayne Tuckson led Elmhurst's defense in the win, totaling 12 tackles, including 10 solo stops and a tackle for loss. Lane added seven tackles while Ritter, Giles and Ryan Johnson finished with five tackles apiece.
Elmhurst hosts the University of Chicago next Saturday (September 15). The game is scheduled for a 6:00 pm start under the lights.