Rams run out of time at Illinois College
News Photo
Illinois College
Football - Sat, Oct. 7, 2017

JACKSONVILLE, Ill. – Cornell outscored Illinois College in the second half, although couldn't complete the comeback in Saturday's 42-26 football loss that was the Midwest Conference South Division opener for both teams.

The Rams (2-3 overall, 0-1 MWC) gained some traction on a rainy afternoon after trailing 36-12 early in the fourth quarter. Cornell reached pay dirt twice in the final 12 minutes and then had its final drive stall at the Illinois College 1-yard line as time expired.

Devan Clark (SR/Upland, Calif.) had a huge afternoon with 280 all-purpose yards, the third-best single-game output by a Cornell player. The senior running back accounted for a pair of touchdowns, the second off a blocked punt by Milton Spradley (JR/Sorrento, Fla.) he recovered in the end zone. Cornell's third special teams TD of the season brought the Rams within 36-26 with 6:49 remaining.

Clark rushed for a game-high 86 yards on 19 carries and netted 153 yards on four kick returns, including a 70-yarder that set up a short Aaron Nicoll (SO/Longmont, Colo.) field goal in the first quarter. Clark added a 5-yard TD run later in the opening period. That was followed by a Nicoll 25-yard field goal that trimmed the deficit to 13-12 with 14:21 left in the first half.

Illinois College (2-3 overall, 1-0 MWC) scored two TDs and a safety in the final four minutes of the second quarter to build a 29-12 cushion at halftime. A game-changing play in the half came on a Blake MacDowall (SR/Phoenix, Ariz.) 91-yard kickoff return for a touchdown that was called back because of a penalty, and ultimately led to an Illinois College safety.

Cornell cut the margin to 36-19 on a James Douglas III (SO/Deltona, Fla.)-to-Riley Bell (SR/Portage, Mich.) 12-yard TD pass with 12:42 remaining in the game. The Rams recovered a fumble on the ensuing series, but then fumbled it back to the home team deep in Illinois College territory.

Cornell defensive end Andrew Joseph (SR/New Orleans, La.) tallied 14 tackles, highlighted by 3.0 sacks which moved him into second place on the program's career list with 20.5. Newcomer Tylor Fairbanks (FR/Marion, Iowa) also recorded 14 tackles and had a couple pass breakups. Zachary Yankovich (JR/Cape Coral, Fla.) was in on 12 tackles, 2.5 for losses. 

The Rams held a 19-14 advantage in first downs and limited the Blueboys to 77 rushing yards on 50 carries. Cornell turned the ball over three times and managed to convert on just 4-of-16 third-down chances.

Douglas, who entered as the MWC leader in total offense, went 15-of-32 passing for 160 yards and was sacked five times. He carried the ball 24 times for 28 yards.

Patrick Brown (JR/Vicksburg, Miss.) hauled in six receptions for 49 yards. MacDowall totaled 62 yards on three grabs.

Coming up – Cornell is home next Saturday, Oct. 14, to face undefeated Lake Forest (5-0 overall, 1-0 MWC) at 1 p.m. inside Ash Park Stadium. The Foresters held on for a 28-21 home win Saturday over Knox.

Cornell College (2-3)9301426
Illinois College (2-3)131601342
Jacksonville, Ill.
Cornell CollegeIndv. LeadersIllinois College
#2 Devan Clark - 86Rushing #1 Jason Barbour - 65
#1 James Douglas - 160Passing #7 Drew Chance - 218
#5 Blake MacDowall - 62Receiving #13 Glen Gibbons Jr - 130
Cornell CollegeTeam StatisticsIllinois College
66Rushing Yards 77
160Passing Yards 218
3Turnovers 1
28:19Possesion Time 32:04