Time of Poss.
The Illinois College football team overcame a halftime deficit to beat Knox College on Saturday, matching the school's best start to a season as the Blueboys improved to 7-0. The Blueboys won 48-24.
Michael Bates threw for 300 yards and three touchdowns and Cecil Brimmage added 96 rushing yards and three scores. Kevin Fuller caught eight passes for 119 yards and a touchdown and Dakota Lammy broke the century mark with 105 yards rushing and a touchdown.
"College football games are never easy and Knox came out and forced us into some bad decisions, but over the long haul our kids were able to overcome the adversity and get the win," said Illinois College head football coach Garrett Campbell.
Knox scored first on Saturday as a 4-yard plunge by Derek Mortensen gave the visitors an early advange. Fuller scored on a 24-yard touchdown pass from Bates to even things up, and a 31-yard touchdown run by Lammy and an 8-yard touchdown pass from Bates to Bryce Heaton gave the Blueboys a 20-7 lead after the first quarter.
A 17-yard touchdown pass from Luke Oosterbaan to Jordan Zanger and a 2-yard touchdown run by Mortensen gave the Prairie Fire a 21-20 halftime edge.
Brimmage helped the Blueboys pull away, however, with touchdown runs of 2, 30 and 7 yards in the second half. Bates threw his third touchdown of the day, a 2-yard strike to Cody Bly, to conclude the scoring.
Bates completed 32-of-44 passes en route to his 300-yard game. Brimmage reached 1,000 yards rushing for the season late in the first half of Saturday's win. Wes Graham caught seven passes for 47 yards, while Heaton added five catches for 47 yards.
Adam Hickson made eight tackles, recorded a sack and forced a fumble. Kurt Frischman made five tackles, including a sack, and intercepted a pass. Willie Barefield III and Dinari Ellis recorded interceptions.
Senior members of Illinois College's dance, cheerleading and football teams were recognized before Saturday's game. Kate VonDeBur (dance) and Amanda Maaser (cheerleading) were honored before members of the football team: Evan Breyley, Kristopher Evans, Willie Barefield III, Cody Bly, Cecil Brimmage, Ben Ansong, Kendall Gibson, Kevin Fuller, Gage Harding, Christian Philipp, Justin Gray, Ryan Jefferson, Carter Cox, Ryan Gardner, Drew Bland, Samir Adrissi, Mike Ranos, Jordan Jamison, Tony Manicke, Kurt Frischman, Zach Schultz, Keith Lane, Jordan Miller, Travis James, Chet Akers, Austin Waller, Wes Graham, Michael Ray and Billy Filla.
Illinois College improved to 7-0 overall and 6-0 in the Midwest Conference with the win. The seven wins to start the season match a school record held by the 1915, 1978 and 1979 teams.
The Blueboys host Monmouth College in their home finale next Saturday, Kickoff is at 1 p.m.