ELMHURST, Ill. - The Elmhurst football team scored its first CCIW victory of the season by upending Millikin University 20-7 at Langhorst Field.
Elmhurst totaled 403 yards of offense in the win, its second-highest output of the season, and improved to 2-5 overall, snapping a five-game skid in the process.
Millikin (1-6, 0-4 CCIW) jumped on the scoreboard first, but were shut out for the remainder of the game by the Bluejays' defense. Starting at their own 43-yard line, the Big Blue drove 57 yards in eight plays and grabbed a 7-0 lead when Nick Pippin connected with Brady Cufaude on a 14-yard touchdown pass.
Millikin's lead was short lived as Elmhurst answered back immediately. The Bluejays used a 57-yard drive keyed by a 39-yard run from Josh Williams to even the score at 7-7. Facing a third-and-goal from the Millikin seven-yard line, Joe Camiliere hit Chase Hamby on a short pass. Hamby spun away from his defender and dove into the end one to knot the score for Elmhurst.
Elmhurst took a 10-7 lead early in the second quarter by capitalizing on a Millikin turnover. Alec Giles picked off Pippin at the Elmhurst 30 and returned the ball 15 yards. A horse collar penalty on Millikin at the end of the run gave Elmhurst the ball at the Millikin 40-yard line. The Bluejays drove down to Big Blue's eight-yard line before settling for a 27-yard field goal from David Tomis.
The Bluejays defense forced Millikin into a three-and-out after the field goal. Elmhurst's offense then drove to the Millikin 23-yard line and Tomis boomed a 40-yard field goal through the uprights to put the Bluejays on top 13-7.
Elmhurst had a chance to add to their lead late in the half after Stephen Ritter intercepted Pippen and brought the ball back to the Millikin 19-yard line, but the Bluejays drive ended with a Millikin interception at the goal line. The Bluejays led 13-7 at the half.
The Bluejays wasted no time to add to their lead in the third quarter. Elmhurst took the opening kickoff and drove 75 yards in 11 plays with Williams capping the drive with a 23-yard touchdown run.
Elmhurst's defense clamped down on Millikin in the third quarter, limiting the Big Blue to only six yards of offense and no first downs in three possessions. The Bluejays killed a Millikin drive early in the fourth quarter as Giles recorded his second interception of the day. Millikin strung together a 14-play drive midway through the fourth quarter, marching down to the Elmhurst 11 yard line, but the Bluejays stopped the Big Blue on a fourth down attempt. Elmhurst took over on downs and ran the final 4:48 off the clock to preserve the victory.
The Bluejays pounded the ball on the ground, rushing for 293 yards on 50 carries. Millikin was held to only 97 rushing yards on 33 carries and just 116 passing yards.
Williams led Elmhurst on the ground, carrying 29 times for 187 yards and a touchdown, setting a career-high in both attempts and yardage in the process. He added two receptions for 38 yards to total 225 yards for the day. Tyler Smith added 50 yards on the ground on four carries while Andrew Tubek picked up 40 yards on six carries.
Camiliere finished 10-of-22 through the air for 110 yards with two interceptions and a touchdown.
Millikin's Sean Dunning entered the game as the conference's leading rusher averaging over 140 yards per game, but the Bluejays' held the running back in check, limiting him to just 76 yards on 25 carries. Pippin finished 14-of-31 for 116 yards with a touchdown and three interceptions.
Charlie Roberts led Elmhurst's defense with 13 tackles, including two tackles for loss and half of a quarterback sack. Marvin Carr and Billy Viero added six tackles apiece for Elmhurst. while Giles recorded two interceptions on the day.
T.J. Sullivan led Millikin's defense with 12 tackles. Stephen Watson and Mykal Neal finished with 10 tackles each for the Big Blue.
Elmhurst travels to North Park University next Saturday, November 2.