Ground game fuels 34-31 win over Monmouth

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A ground game fueled by 174 yards from Cecil Brimmage and three touchdowns from Dakota Lammy helped the Illinois College football team to a 34-31 win at Monmouth College on Saturday that snapped a 15-game losing streak against the Fighting Scots.

"We didn't focus on the history. We focused on the preparation during the week," said Illinois College head football coach Garrett Campbell. "I thought we executed well on both offense and defense. Both teams battled hard for 60 minutes and I'm happy we came out on top."

The Blueboys never trailed en route to the victory. Lammy gave the team an early lead with touchdown runs of 1 and 3 yards, respectively, before Monmouth answered with a touchdown pass from Brik Wedekind to C.J. Sheilds and a touchdown run from Trey Yocum. The Blueboys nudged back ahead just before halftime, however, with a 1-yard touchdown pass from Michael Bates to Kevin Wallace.

Matt Newman kicked a 35-yard field goal late in the third quarter, which was answered by Monmouth kicker Ace Henricks early in the fourth. Newman then kicked a 27-yarder to restore a 10-point lead, but Shields cut the lead to three after catching a 48-yard touchdown pass from Wedekind.

Lammy scored his third touchdown on a 24-yard run with just 1:44 remaining in the game. Monmouth scored moments later, on a 19-yard pass from Wedekind to Austin Peterson, but the Blueboys recovered the ensuing onside kick and ran the clock out.

IC rolled up 565 yards of total offense, while limiting Monmouth to 396. The Blueboys held a definite advantage in the ground game, racking up 311 yards to the Fighting Scots' 142. Brimmage did the most damage, running for 174 yards on 29 carries. Lammy added 65 yards on 12 carries, while Davis Kinville added 62 on 10 touches.

Bates completed 25-of-35 passes for 254 yards and a touchdown in his first game back following a two-game absence. Kevin Fuller was IC's leading receiver, hauling in eight receptions for 112 yards. Josh Gentile caught seven passes for 60 yards.

Mike Ranos made a team-high seven tackles for the Blueboys. Keith Hunter II and Kurt Frischman made six stops each; Frischman tallied a sack and a quarterback hurry.

The win over Monmouth College was Illinois College's first since 1996, when the Blueboys took a 16-14 win at Monmouth.

IC improved to 7-1 overall and 6-1 in Midwest Conference play with the win. The Blueboys will play their final two regular-season games at home, facing Cornell College this coming Saturday, before finishing up with Carroll University on November 10. Both games begin at 1 p.m.