Titan football secures first conference win at Millikin

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Sam Lalonde

 

After a disappointing loss to Carthage College last week, the Titans looked to bounce back against conference foe Milikin University.  Saturday presented itself as an opportunity to get back on track with a new face leading the Titans at quarterback.

From the first play, the Big Blue of Milikin stood no chance as the Titans rolled to a 31-7 victory behind a strong debut performance from sophomore Dovonan Laible. Laible, the third string quarterback, came in due to the medical absences of first-year starter Jack Warner and senior back-up Tyrell Bolden.  Laible filled the void confidently completing 18 of 31 for 215 yards, three touchdowns and 49 rushing yards.

Laible received plenty of support from the Titan offense, who came alive on Saturday. The wide receiver tandem of junior Artie Checchin and junior Andrew Javorka combined for 195 yards on 14 catches and three touchdowns.

“Donovan really stepped up for us on Saturday.  His ability to throw the ball effectively opened up plenty of options for the offense,” said sophomore John Shipman.

One of those options was the ground game. Junior running back Anfernee Roberts rushed for 93 yards on 27 very effective carries.  Even the special teams unit even got on the scoreboard. With two minutes left in the half, sophomore back-up quarterback and placeholder Andrew Iwaszkiewicz threw a fake field goal 14 yards to senior Brady Hails for the completion.

While scoring came early and often for the Titans, the Big Blue of Millikin only managed one touchdown that was scored by their special teams unit. This can be credited to an outstanding defensive performance. Led by CCIW Player of the Week, sophomore Kyle Venhuizen, the Titans were resilient, not allowing the Big Blue offense to score.

Venhuizen earned CCIW honors accumulating three sacks for a combined negative 16 Millikin yards. Venhuizen received help from junior Kevin Slawkowski, sophomore Sean Garvey, senior John Worley and first-year Matt Campbell, who combined for a total of 25 tackles on the day.

The Titans next game will take place on Saturday, October 18 at 1:30 p.m. against Augustana for homecoming.