The Illinois College offense scored on all six of its red zone possessions while the IC defense provided a pair of goal-line stops to key a 46-21 win over visiting Ripon College Saturday at England Stadium in Jacksonville.
Michael Bates threw for 236 yards and a pair of touchdowns, while sophomore running back Dakota Lammy scored the first two rushing touchdowns of his collegiate career in the win. Bates connected with Kevin Wallace and Josh Gentile on the touchdown passes. He also ran for a team-high 86 yards.
"It was a solid conference win," Illinois College head football coach Garrett Campbell said. "It keeps us on the track that we want to be on."
The IC defense held strong on two fourth-and-goal plays from its own 1-yard line in the second quarter to give the Blueboys a 10-0 lead at halftime. The first goal-line stand led to an 11-play, 99-yard drive that ended with a 2-yard touchdown run by Branden Downing.
"Those stands were obviously critical," Campbell said. "One of them led to a 99-yard touchdown drive and one came right before halftime."
Kurt Frischman made a team-high 17 tackles for the Blueboys. Keith Hunter II and Aaron Gyrion made 12 stops each. Dylan DeFauw intercepted a pass and broke up two others.
Matt Newman gave Illinois College an early lead with a 28-yard field goal midway through the first quarter and Downing's touchdown gave the Blueboys a 10-0 lead. Bates found Wallace on a 23-yard touchdown early in the third before Lammy scored the first of his two touchdowns to put IC up 24-7 at the end of the third quarter.
Lammy scored on a 1-yard plunge early in the fourth. Bates connected with Gentile on his second touchdown pass of the game, a 12-yard strike, moments later. Chris Baker finished things up with a 16-yard scoring run late in the fourth quarter.
IC improved to 3-0 overall and 2-0 in Midwest Conference play with the win. The Blueboys host Lawrence University next Saturday at 1 p.m.