Crushing performance in Illinois establishes first conference win for WashU football

| Contributing Reporter

Football in action last season. (Noah Orloff | Student Life)

In the second game of the season, the Washington University football team dominated their first conference game with a 63-13 win against Millikin University. With the win, the team now boasts a 2-0 record to start the season. This game was dominated by WashU, much like the last two years have been, and gives the Bears a 4-1 record against Millikin in their five matchups.

The first quarter was relatively slow in the production of points. On the first drive of the game, Millikin slowly made their way to the 42-yard line, but then had to punt the ball to the Bears. The Bears received the ball and immediately got to work going down the field. They worked up the field to a first down on the 45-yard line. The Bears got two first downs with a connection for 12 yards, and then an amazing rush for 21 yards to get to the 12-yard line. After getting to the 12-yard line, the Bears dwindled down the defense until Levi Moore, a first-year, ran the ball into the endzone. After the good kick attempt by freshman kicker Ross Muchnick, the score was 7-0.

The Bears’ defense got the job done on the next drive, keeping Millikin back. Eventually, with 20 seconds left in the quarter, the defense forced a fumble, which graduate student linebacker Matthew Schmal recovered at the 12-yard line.

Going into the 2nd quarter, the Bears were able to score a lot more points. After a few short plays, WashU graduate student quarterback Matt Rush connected with junior wide receiver Collin Goldberg for a touchdown to go up 14-0. The defense was again able to lock down Millikin and forced them to punt. Starting with the ball on their 27-yard line, sophomore running back Fred Ware exploded with a 73-yard touchdown to put the Bears up 21-0. Once again, WashU’s defense dominated Millikin, forcing them to punt. The Bears then received the ball and quickly marched their way up the field until junior running back Kenvorris Campbell rushed for another touchdown. After another successful extra point, the Bears were up 28-0. WashU’s defense held for the remainder of the second quarter, and the first half came to a close with the Bears leading 28-0.

Starting the second half, all the momentum was with the Bears, and the offense continued to dismantle the Millikin defense. Starting on WashU’s 40-yard line, the Bears made their way up the field until they made it to the 10-yard line. At the 10-yard line, the ball was fumbled, but it was recovered by Levi Moore, who proceeded to score his second touchdown of the game. After a successful extra point by Muchnick, the game was at an astounding 35-0. The Bears let up their first points on the next drive though, as Millikin proceeded to make their way up the field. They completed a 40 yard pass to the 1 yard line, where they would eventually make their way into the endzone for their first points, leaving the score 35-6. The third quarter saw fewer points as both teams had fruitless drives until WashU eventually scored again. The Bears methodically made their way up the field until Rush was able to connect with Golberg again for another touchdown, making the score 42-6 after yet another successful kick by Muchnick. The quarter was not over however, and Millikin would put more points on the board. Millikin made their way up the field until they managed to connect for a 54-yard pass for a touchdown, and following a successful extra point, the game was 42-13 as the 3rd quarter came to a close.

Starting the 4th quarter, the Bears responded with more points. A 46-yard pass to freshman wide receiver Makael Carter gave the first-year receiver his first career touchdown, and after another successful extra point, the score was 49-13. Millikin would respond by marching up the field, but they soon found misfortune, as senior defensive back Enzo Redina intercepted one of their passes and ran it 37 yards — all the way to the 11-yard line — putting the ball back in the Bears’ hands. The Bears connected for yet another touchdown, making the score 56-13. WashU’s defense continued doing what they had done all day, and they forced yet another fumble by Millikin at the 18-yard line, which was recovered by sophomore linebacker Brady Willmer. Junior quarterback Connor Dechiro, the backup quarterback for the Bears, hit junior wide receiver Taidhgin Trost for the final touchdown of the day, which — with another successful extra point — would leave a final score of 63-13.

After an incredible performance like this, it is hard to think that the Bears are going into the next week with anything other than confidence. Their confidence will be put to the test when they face Carthage College on Saturday, Sept. 23 at 1 p.m. in the home opener.

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