Millikin Football Scores Key Road Win
The Millikin football team scored an important conference road victory winning 32-29 at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wis. on Oct. 13.
The win improves the Big Blue to 5-1 overall and 4-1 in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW). Millikin is in a three-way tie for second place one game behind Illinois Wesleyan.
Millikin opened the scoring in the first quarter after Gabe Xayathone sacked Carthage quarterback Billy Dury knocking the ball loose. Xayathone recovered the fumble setting up Millikin at the Carthage 21 yard line. Millikin would convert the turnover when quarterback Nicco Stepina connected with Tyrice Hines on a 26 yard touchdown pass.
Carthage tied the game at 7-7 on a 39 yard run by Dana Fontenot.
With Carthage leading 10-7 early in the second quarter, Stepina hit Jordan Smith with 23 yard touchdown pass. The extra point was no good making it 13-10. The touchdown was Smith's first of three on the day. The three touchdowns gave Smith 30 in his career breaking the Millikin record for touchdown receptions of 29 set by former NFL player Jeff Query. After another Carthage field goal, Stepina hit Smith form 15 yards to make it 19-13 Millikin.
An injury would keep Stepina out of the game in the second half, but sophomore backup quarterback Cal Pohrte was up to the challenge. On his first drive, Pohrte led the Big Blue on a 11 play drive covering 73 yards. The drive was capped off by a six-yard run from Jazontae Howard to make it 26-13 Big Blue.
Carthage answered with a 20 yard pass from Dury to Bret Patton to make it a 26-20 game at the end of three quarters.
The Big Blue's final touchdown came early in the fourth quarter when Pohrte hit Smith from 23 yards out making it a 32-20 Big Blue lead.
Carthage responded with a scoring drive that end with a five-yard touchdown run from Lafayette McCary to make it 32-27 with 11:23 left in the game.
The Red Men would put together another drive in the final eight minutes of the game. Carthage drove into the Millikin red zone, but the Big Blue turned back Carthage stopping them on fourth down at the Millikin seven yard line with four minutes left in the game.
Carthage stopped the Millikin drive giving the Red Men another scoring opportunity. The Millikin defense again rose the to challenge stopping Carthage at the Millikin 27 yard line. Nikia Averitte's sack on second down was a key play in the drive.
Millikin was unable to get a first down on its possession facing a four down deep in its own territory. In an effort to use up as much time as possible, Big Blue punter Wyatt Fox took a safety to make it a 32-29 game.
Carthage's drive in the final seconds ended with Smith, playing in Millikin's prevent defense, intercepting Dury's final pass of the game.
Smith had eight catches on the day for 159 yards. Stepina was 9-17-1 for 127 yards and three touchdowns. Pohrte was 4-10 passing for 106 yards. Hines had three catches for 72 yards. Howard had 28 carries for 103 yards.
Dury was 20-35-1 for 283 yards. McCary rushed for 118 yards for the Red Men.
Millikin travels to Elmhurst College on Oct. 20.