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In the News: IC wins game 1,000


The Illinois College football team’s 1,000th game was a good one for the Blueboys.

by Dennis Mathes  | Journal-Courier 

IC built a 49-0 lead in the first half en route to a 63-20 win over Beloit Saturday night. The win was the Blueboys’ first this season, improving the team’s record to 1-3.

The Blueboys got on the board in a hurry, blocking a punt that was recovered by Dylon Ross '22 in the end zone. Shak Johnson '21 scored on an 11-yard run, then Drew Chance '21 completed a 30-yard TD pass to Mason Farris '20 over the middle to make it 20-0. Chance’s 24-yard pass to Glen Gibbons '21 early in the second quarter extended the lead to 28-0.

Gibbons made a little history himself after IC forced Beloit to punt from its own 30. The punt rolled, and Gibbons picked it up and ran down the sideline before cutting back to the middle and running all the way to the end zone. His 73-yard return was the longest punt return for a touchdown in Illinois College history.

IC led 49-0 at the half and 56-7 after three quarters.

Chance completed 18-of-27 passes for 278 yards. He threw four touchdown passes.

Many former players came back to celebrate the milestone game, including former longtime coach Tom Rowland '69.

“What was great about it was that first of all, I got to flip the coin,” Rowland said. “Secondly, I either played with everybody here, or coached everybody here. I played from '64 to '67, and then coached at IC from '73 on. There’s only about one or two people (here) that I didn’t play with or I didn’t coach. So it was great to see everybody back, particularly some of these guys that are just so far away. It’s great."

“Everybody’s excited to see the new facilities, and the kids look good,” Rowland said. “We don’t look like an 0-3 team, that’s for sure. So hopefully, we gave them some motivation. And I’ll take credit for winning the coin toss. Why not?”

Rowland said he’d planned to go to Western Illinois University out of high school, but a friend of his went to IC and was playing basketball, and Rowland thought maybe he’d have a chance to play sports there, too. “I had a great career here,” he said. “I was lucky enough to sign with Green Bay in ‘68 and the Broncos in ‘69, and then after that, I just decided that I really kind of wanted to coach at the D-III level.”

Rowland said he had several chances to coach in Division I as an assistant, but he turned them down. “I knew the time it took,” he said. “People really didn’t have much of a family life or anything like that. And here at IC, they were just concerned about making sure the kids had fun. And if you won, great — and fortunately, we did. But there was just so much less pressure.”

Bob Nottingham '76 played at Illinois College from 1971-74.

“They were some of the most fun years I had,” he said.

Nottingham, a former defensive back from Petersburg, went on to coach football in Arizona, California, and a semi-pro football team in Texas, where he lives now. He said he used a lot of the things he learned at IC in his coaching career.

Nottingham said he remembers a few games, but “mostly, I just remember playing with all the guys and stuff like that,” he said.

Illinois College's 1,000th football game was also featured on News Channel 20.


About Illinois College

Founded in 1829, Illinois College is a residential liberal arts college fostering academic excellence rooted in opportunities for experiential learning while preparing students for lifelong success. The college is located in Jacksonville, Illinois. With an enrollment of about 1,000 students, the college offers over 50 undergraduate programs. In 1932 the society of Phi Beta Kappa established a chapter at Illinois College, and it remains one of only 11 in the state.

Illinois College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.

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