The Illinois College football team set a school record for wins to start a season as the Blueboys scored a 35-13 win over visiting Monmouth College on Saturday to improve to 8-0.
Cecil Brimmage ran for 210 yards and a touchdown, Michael Bates threw for one touchdown and ran for two others, and the Illinois College defense forced four Monmouth turnovers in the win.
"I thought our defense played extremely well against an excellent running back. It was a tough, physical game, as we expected," said Illinois College head football coach Garrett Campbell. "I'm happy for the Illinois College community and for our players to set this mark. It's a credit to their passion for the game. But we still have two games left, and this only makes our next game more important."
Bates got things started early with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Fuller midway through the first quarter. Bates then scored on a 1-yard plunge late in the second quarter to give the Blueboys a 14-0 halftime lead.
Monmouth cut into the lead when Trey Yocum scored on a 2-yard run early in the third quarter, but touchdown runs by Dakota Lammy (2 yards) and Brimmage (51 yards) helped the Blueboys pull away. Monmouth quarterback Tanner Matlick scored on a 1-yard run early in the fourth quarter, but Bates answered with a 3-yard touchdown run just over two minutes later to conclude the scoring.
Bates completed 15-of-30 passes for 247 yards, while adding 85 yards on the ground. Brimmage gained his 210 yards on 27 attempts, averaging 7.8 yards per carry. Fuller caught five passes for 87 yards, Josh Gentile had five catches for 70 yards and Bryce Heaton hauled in three receptions for 69 yards.
Zack Hanlon and Kurt Frischman made 11 tackles each to lead the IC defense. Andy Mills and Carter Cox had eight each. Adam Hickson made six tackles, with a sack, a forced fumble and a pass broken up. Hanlon and Cox each intercepted a pass. Frischman also forced a fumble.
Matt Newman was a perfect 5-for-5 on his point-after-touchdown kicks.
The Blueboys, ranked No. 24 in the latest D3football.com and American Football Coaches Association polls, improved to 8-0 overall and 7-0 in the Midwest Conference. The eight consecutive wins to start the season tops the team's previous best start of 7-0, set by the 1915, 1978 and 1979 teams.
Illinois College travels to Cornell College for a 12 p.m. kickoff next Saturday.