Millikin Falls to Titans


Photo by Athena Pajer

Illinois Wesleyan quarterback fending off a Millikin defender

Millikin lost to Wesleyan 49-32. It was a game of one-upmanship, but in the end Wesleyan pulled out all the stops, leaving with the victory, keeping their undefeated streak and giving Millikin a 6-2 standing.

But MU was aggressive. This game was really important to Big Blue, and anyone who watched them walk off the field could see how disappointed they were. This loss hit them hard and the outcome of that is hard to know as the players all looked completely defeated. Big Blue is a resilient team but this loss could very well have completely changed their attitude towards what’s to come.

Wesleyan proved to be a challenge from the beginning, scoring their first touchdown rather quickly to gain a seven point lead right out of the gate and ending the first quarter with a 14-0, but the Big Blue proved to be a strong opponent, giving the game everything they had.

The silver lining is all of the good plays. There were a lot of fumble recoveries and really good plays that Millikin pulled out of their hats. They took Wesleyan pretty far and, though it doesn’t much look like it by the scores, they proved to be a very impressive team. Stepina and his receivers showed out tonight and that proved to make a difference when the Big Blue were down.

Come second quarter, Big Blue Richard Cosey ran the ball in to make the score 14-6. This started Big Blue’s momentum as they started fighting to keep up.

While they battled, the ball turned over more often than in MU’s other CCIW matches. Wesleyan’s interceptions were quick, effective and deadly. Millikin also recovered several Wesleyan fumbles throughout the game. Each time, Big Blue fans felt a swell of hope that the game was turning in their favor.

From the crowd, it was a downright captivating game. The crowd was wild on both sides and that was definitely a big deal on Millikin’s side. There were so many fans cheering and booing with the rest of the players on the sideline.

At one point it got so loud it drowned out the announcers, proving how important this game was not only to the players but to the Millikin supporters.

The game was just as fierce going into the second half as it was in the beginning. The Titans took control and they didn’t hold back.

The Big Blue couldn’t keep the Titans from adding to its lead in the third quarter. By the end of the third quarter the Titans had went from 21 points in the beginning to 35 at the end. Millikin trailed 35 to 13 as the time counted down, but then Gerald Perry scored making it 35-20 with less than 30 seconds on the clock.

When fourth quarter started the shock comes from Millikin as Wesleyan scores in two plays to make it 42-20. On a 31 yard pass from Stepina to Smith, Millikin tries to close the gap making the score 42-26 with about 12 minutes left in the play. Wesleyan is able to score again to make it 49-26 and the gaps begins to widen again.

As MU clashed with the Titans, players got hurt. Jazontae Howard, Tyrice Hines, Quintaz Wright, and Gerald Perry all suffered injuries, causing quite a few players to be switched-in and having serious effect on the plays.

The next game will be a battle as Millikin needs a win. Wesleyan was tough and they fought hard, but they fell short. After this game, Millikin knows they have to win the next game against Washington University on Saturday, November 3, 2018 at 1:00 p.m.