An 18-yard touchdown pass from Michael Bates to Kevin Wallace with 1:40 remaining provided the difference in Illinois College's 34-33 comeback win over Ripon College on Saturday in Ripon, Wis.
Bates threw for 208 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 108 yards and another score in Saturday's game. Running back Cecil Brimmage added 58 yards and another two touchdowns in the win.
"We strive to win the last four minutes of every game and that's exactly what we did. We beat a very good Ripon team today," said Illinois College football coach Garrett Campbell. "This was a total team victory."
Illinois College scored three straight touchdowns early in the first half to take a 21-7 lead, but Ripon rallied back to take a 24-21 lead early in the fourth. The Blueboys reclaimed the lead with Brimmage's second TD run of the day, but Ripon went back ahead on a Tom Sawyer touchdown run with 2:41 remaining. IC then went 66 yards on six plays on the game-winning drive.
Brock Thompson caught five passes for 47 yards for IC. Colin Duling hauled in three passes for 93 yard, including a 56-yard reception. Jacob Klingele caught a 1-year touchdown pass.
Eric Fisher led the Blueboys with 14 tackles. Michael Ray had 13 more tackles and recovered a fumble. Robert Stallworth had 11 tackles. Dylan DeFauw had eight tackles and an interception.
Illinois College improved to 7-1 overall and 6-1 in the Midwest Conference. The 7-1 start matches the best start to a season in over three decades.