ELMHURST, Ill. – The Elmhurst football team led 12th-ranked Illinois Wesleyan at the half, but the Titans outscored the Bluejays 34-0 in the second half while handing the Bluejays a 47-15 defeat.
It was a tale of two halves as the Bluejays built a 15-7 first half lead and carried a 15-13 lead into the locker room at halftime. But Illinois Wesleyan (8-1, 6-1 CCIW) dominated the second half, holding Elmhurst (2-6, 2-4 CCIW) to just 49 yards in the second half while scoring on their first five possessions of the second half
The Titans built a quick 7-0 lead after Brandon Bauer hit Jack Healy for a 26-yard touchdown on the game's first possession.
Elmhurst cut into the Titans' lead early in the second quarter on a 24-yard field goal from Blake Bailey. Elmhurst held the Titans to a three-and-out on their next possession and Elmhurst took over at their own 27-yard line after a punt. Facing a third-and-14 from their own 23, Orlando Hernandez connected over the middle with Hasahn Austin. Austin weaved his way through traffic and raced 77 yards to the end zone to give Elmhurst a 9-7 lead.
The Titans fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Elmhurst recovered the loose ball at the Titans' 29-yard line. Four plays later, Hernandez hit Jawan Gaines on a seven-yard slant pattern to give Elmhurst a 15-7 lead.
The Titans made it 15-13 following a 17-yard touchdown pass from Bauer to Zach Walsh with just over four minutes remaining. The Bluejays stopped the two-point conversion attempt to maintain a two-point lead heading into the locker room at halftime.
The second half belonged to the Titans as Bauer opened the scoring with a six-yard TD toss to Healy to put IWU back in front at 19-15. A Morgan Alexander one-yard run gave the Titans a 26-15 lead with 4:39 left in the third quarter.
Illinois Wesleyan continued to pull away with three scores in the fourth quarter en route to the 32-point victory.
Elmhurst totaled 268 yards of offense in the contest, but just 49 of those came in the game's final 30 minutes. After limiting the Titans to just 165 yards in the first half, Illinois Wesleyan exploded in the second racking up 281 yards in the final 30 minutes to total 446 yards for the game. The Titans rushed for 217 yards while passing for 229. Elmhurst totaled 80 yards on the ground and 188 through the air.
Hernandez completed 18-of-38 passes for 188 yards and two touchdowns in the loss. Jacob Mammosser caught five passes for 28 yards while also rushing for 31 yards on a fake punt. Austin hauled in four passes for a game-high 91 yards.
Alexander paced the Titans on the ground, carrying 19 times for 120 yards and a touchdown. Bauer completed 18-of-25 passes for 229 yards and four touchdowns while also rushing for a score. Healy was the Titans' top target, catching six passes for 84 yards and three touchdowns.
Tyler Hosman led Elmhurst's defense with 11 tackles, including seven solo stops. Joe Nixon also reached double figures in tackles with 10.
Elmhurst travels to Millikin University next Saturday, November 4.