The Millikin football teams second half rally fell short as the Big Blue lost to #20 Illinois Wesleyan 28-25 on Oct. 29 at Frank M. Lindsay Field. Illinois Wesleyan is now 7-1, 4-1 while Millikin falls to 3-5, 1-4.
Millikin dominated much of the game outgaining the Titans 438 to 285 in total offense, but Illinois Wesleyan used the big play to secure the victory.
One its first play on from scrimmage, Illinois Wesleyan connected on a 51 yard screen pass from Rob Gallik to Cameron Blossom to move the ball to the Millikin 22 yard line. That set up a five yard touchdown run from Sean Conley to give the Titans a 6-0 advantage.
Millikin's Erick Louis Charles blocked the extra point attempt and Darrell Mitchell returned it for a two point defense conversion for the Big Blue.
After a three and out by the Millikin offense, Erich Bushong returned a punt 63 yards for the score. After the two point conversion it was 14-2, Titans.
Millikin added a 29 yard Austin Brettschneider field goal on the last play of the half to make it 14-5.
Illinois Wesleyan opened the third quarter on a 14 play 80 yard scoring drive that ended on a three yard Conley run to make it 21-5 Titans.
The Big Blue then began to mount a valiant comeback attempt. Millikin scored on a three play drive on a Sean Dunning six yard run. The drive was propelled by a 43 yard pass from Matt Holmes to Erik Tobey. A failed two point conversion made it a 21-11 play game.
The Millikin defense then began to put the clamps on the Titan offense.
Millikin pulled to 21-18 early in the fourth quarter on a two yard Dunning run.
The Titans then took advantage of the big play again connecting on a 62 yard Gallik to Joey Driver touchdown to push the advantage back to 28-18.
The Big Blue answered back scoring on a Holmes two yard run to make it 28-25.
The Big Blue defense then went to work forcing the Titans into a three and out. The series including a 13 yards sack by Louis Charles on first down.
Millikin then drove the length of the field driving to the Illinois Wesleyan 18 yard line. On third and three, Holmes had a pass slip out of his hand as he went to throw it causing an incompletion and setting up a critical fourth and three with 2:13 left in the game. The Titan defense answered the challenge with a sack by Ryan Jenkins.
Millikin then forced the Titans to punt with just over one minute left to play, but ran out of time in its scoring drive.
Holmes led the Millikin offense with 111 yards rushing on 26 attempts and 14-30-1 passing for 257 yards and two TDs. Tobey had 158 yards receiving on seven catches.
Gallik was 14-22-1 for 235 passing to lead the Titans.
Joshua Pollard had eight tackles and a sack for the Big Blue. Jacob Alvis has eight tackles. Marquette Moore had seven tackles including five solo tackles. Daniel Fishel has an interception for the Big Blue.
Ben Houk led the Titan defense with 11 tackles.
Millikin will host North Park on Nov. 5 at 1 p.m.