Michael Bates threw for a Midwest Conference-record 580 yards and an Illinois College-record seven touchdowns as the Blueboys scored a 53-20 win in their Midwest Conference opener Saturday at Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa.
Bates topped the previous MWC passing yards mark of 549 yards held by Lawrence University's Luke Barthelmess. He broke Mitch Niekamp's school record of six touchdowns in a game. Bates' TD passes came on tosses of 18, 30, 16, 5, 17, 16 and 26 yards.
"Michael is an excellent player and I am happy with his development as a quarterback and a leader of this football team," Illinois College football coach Garrett Campbell said. "He understands that distribution is the key to our offense, as we had six different receivers catch a touchdown pass."
Wes Graham caught a pair of touchdowns, while Kevin Wallace, Colin Duling, Josh Gentile, Kevin Fuller and Larry Sciortino were also on the receiving end of Bates' touchdown passes. Bates completed 34-of-48 passes and also ran for a team-high 66 yards.
Duling hauled in a team-high seven passes for 66 yards. Graham caught six passes for 92 yards. Wallace had five catches for a team-high 140 yards. Fuller had four receptions for 91 yards.
The IC defense held Grinnell to just 102 yards of total offense, while tallying six sacks and two safeties. Michael Ray and Tim Denney had seven tackles each; Ray tallied two sacks. Zack Meyer had 2 1/2 sacks. Carter Cox had five tackles and an interception.
"I was pleased with our defense today," Campbell said. "To hold Grinnell's offense to 102 yards is a credit to their preparation and desire to compete."
Illinois College improved to 2-0 overall and 1-0 in the Midwest Conference with the win. The Blueboys are on bye next week before hosting Ripon College on September 22.