Olivet routs Aurora, 49-20

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AURORA, Ill. – The Olivet College football team out-gained Aurora (Ill.) University in total yards, 527-269, en route to a 49-20 win over the Spartans on a rainy afternoon at Vago Field in Aurora, Ill.

Aurora fumbled the ball on its opening series of the game. Olivet took advantage of the short field, and needed only three plays to cover the 25 yards to score a touchdown on a two-yard run by junior quarterback Braden Black.

The Spartans also took advantage of a turnover to score their first touchdown on a one-yard run by Jake Apple with 2:24 left in the first quarter. The Comets scored on their ensuing possession, which was set-up by a 48-yard kickoff return by sophomore Javon Moore. Black capped the short 4-play, 46-yard drive with a 35-yard touchdown strike to junior Kyle Bryson.

After forcing Aurora to punt on its first possession of the second quarter, Olivet marched 83 yards down the field to take a 21-7 lead. The drive ended when sophomore Christopher Jones ran the final three yards into the end zone. The Comets' defense again forced an Aurora punt. An 11-play, 63-yard Olivet drive was ended with a seven-yard touchdown run by sophomore Damorria Lilly. Freshman Gunnar Aper made the PAT kick for a 28-7 advantage at halftime.

The Comets scored their only touchdown in the third quarter on a three-yard run by Black at the 9:33 mark. The Spartans quickly answered 43 seconds later with a 22-yard touchdown run by Apple to make the score 35-14. Olivet used a 15-play, 80-yard drive spanning the end of the third stanza and the start of the final quarter to go up 42-14. Lilly capped the drive with a 3-yard plunge into the end zone.

Aurora fumbled the ball on the first play of its next drive. On the Comets' third play from scrimmage after recovering the fumble, Jones rumbled 23 yards for the touchdown and make the score 49-14. The Spartans scored a touchdown with 3:18 left in the game. Olivet was able to get a pair of first downs and run out the clock.

The Comets finished the game with a balanced attack – 240 yards on the ground and 287 through the air. Black, Jones and Lilly each scored two rushing touchdowns. Jones led the way with 10 carries for 109 yards, while Lilly had 16 carries for 71 yards. Black completed 23-of-33 passes for 248 yards. Junior Jason Barbosa caught a team-high seven passes for 45 yards. Bryson had three receptions for 59 yards.

Moore led the defense with 11 total tackles, with five solo stops. Sophomore Justin Madar had five tackles, including 2.5 for minus eight yards.

The Spartans gained only 269 net yards. Apple carried the ball 25 times for 123 yards. Three quarterbacks combined to complete 11-of-22 passes for 103 yards. Peter Rizzi had a team-high 45 receiving yards. Tanner Wilcox topped the defense with 14 tackles.

Olivet (2-1) is off until Saturday, Oct. 4, when it travels to play Adrian College for its Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association. Kickoff from Docking Stadium is 5 p.m.

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