The 2011 Illinois College football team etched its name into the record books on Saturday, beating Beloit College 48-27 in its regular-season finale to finish the year with a school-record nine wins.
"It's a credit to the entire campus community because everybody played a role in this season's success," said Illinois College Head Coach Garrett Campbell. "I'm happy for all of our players, especially our seniors."
Michael Bates threw three touchdown passes and ran for another score, while Cecil Brimmage ran for a game-high 169 yards, eclipsing the 1,000-yard mark for the season. Brock Thompson caught a pair of touchdown passes, including a 60-yarder thrown by running back Matt Williamson, while moving into second place in school history in receiving yards. Brock Doehring and Kevin Wallace also hauled in TD receptions.
The Illinois College offense racked up 598 yards of total offense, while the Blueboy defense limited Beloit to just 271. Jake DeFauw tallied a team-high 10 tackles and Tim Denney intercepted a pair of Beloit passes. The Blueboys tallied five quarterback sacks, with Michael Ray's one-and-a-half sacks leading the way. Stephen Odarczenko, Devin Gay and Robert Stallworth record one sack each, and Willie Barefield teamed up with Ray for another. Eric Fisher also had an interception for IC.
Illinois College (9-1, 8-1 MWC) opened the scoring with a 3-yard TD pass to Doehring. Brimmage then found the end zone on an 18-yard run before Williamson took a backwards pass from Bates then threw a 60-yard touchdown to Thompson. Williamson then scored on a 2-yard run. Bates followed with a 15-yard TD pass to Thompson, then an 8-yard strike to Kevin Wallace.
Beloit (2-8, 2-7) gave IC a late scare, scoring four second-half touchdowns, but Bates sealed the win with a 7-yard touchdown run with just over a minute to go.
IC solidified a second-place finish in the Midwest Conference with the win. The Blueboys will be seeking the Midwest Conference's first-ever at-large bid to the Division III football playoffs when the playoff pairings are announced on NCAA.com at 5 p.m. on Sunday, November 13. The Blueboys will be seeking one of six available at-large bids.
The 2011 Illinois College football team will go down as one of the best – if not the best – team in school history. The Blueboys have never won nine games in a season, and its only undefeated seasons came in 1891 (6-0), 1892 (1-0) and 1915 (7-0) when the team played a much lighter schedule.
Saturday was Senior Day at Illinois College. All senior cheerleaders, dance team members, football managers and football players were honored before the game. Cheerleader Jordan Brown, dance team members Mollie Morrison, Ashlee Iafelice and Stephanie Darrah, and football managers Cornelius "Corndog" Cannamore and Whitney Hagy were honored first, followed by players: Brock Thompson, Matt Williamson, Keith Kermicle, Branden Downing, Tyler Bratt, Brock Doehring, Eric Fisher, Jordi Gomez, Dustin Secrist, Brady Kepler, Mitch Brasher, Devin Gay, Jake DeFauw, John Fink, Jake Cumming, Adam Fricke, Anthony Odarczenko and Stephen Odarczenko.