Monmouth takes out IWU in 3OT win
Yocum ran four times for 30 yards in the final overtime
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. -- Monmouth defeated Illinois Wesleyan 33-27 in three overtimes in the NCAA Division III playoffs first round at Tucci Stadium on Saturday.
IWU's season ends with a 9-2 record. Monmouth, who improved to 10-1, will advance to the NCAA's second round.
The teams tied 17-17 at the end of regulation and played through two rounds of overtime with alternating possessions.
On Illinois Wesleyan's third overtime possession, sophomore quarterback Rob Gallik fumbled the ball at the 1-yard line to give the ball to the Scots. Trey Yocum ran four times for 30 yards in the final OT, including a 7-yard TD rush for the winning score.
On the first overtime possession IWU took six plays to score on a 1-yard run by sophomore Sean Conley and freshman Tony Angelos added the extra-point kick to put IWU ahead 24-17.
On the Scots' first possession senior quarterback Alex Tanney connected with senior Michael Blodgett on a 15-yard TD strike and Matt Batton added the kick to tie the score at 24-24.
Monmouth's second OT ownership resulted in a 23-yard field goal by Batton and the Titans second extra session ended with a 22-yard field goal by Angelos.
The Titans marched 82 yards in 11 plays to start the scoring, capped with a 5-yard pass to Conley from Gallik with 10:33 to play in the quarter. Angelos added the extra point kick.
Gallik's completion to senior Joey Driver in first possession broke record for completions in a season. He had 203 completions to break the old mark of 184 by Doug Moews in 1987. Gallik's 331 attempts and 2528 yards are both third most in an IWU season.
On the third play of the Scots' first possession, Tanney was intercepted by senior linebacker Ryan Gresko.
The Titans made the score 14-0 with 14:23 to play in the half when Conley ran in from two yards out to cap an 11 play, 80-yard drive that took up 4:47 off the clock,
Illinois Wesleyan went up 17-0 when Angelos kicked a 31-yard field goal with 6:58 before intermission.
Monmouth found the end zone for the first time with 1:30 in the half when Nick Law ran in from seven yards out and Batton added the extra point to cut into the IWU lead, 17-7.
Monmouth scored to open the third quarter on a Tanney pass for 13 yards to Yocum that ended a 14-play, 74-yard drive. Batton's kick got the Scots to within three at 17-14.
A 38-yard field goal by Batton fought the wind to tie the game at 17-17 with 13:17 to play in the game and eventually cause the overtime.
In the game, Monmouth got 323 second half yards and amassed 448 yards to 418 for the Titans. Tanney completed 32 of 43 passes for 336 yards and the two TDs. He was sacked five times. Blodgett was on the receiving end of 12 tosses for 162 yards.
Yocum ran for 89 yards on 25 carries.
For the Titans, Gallik completed 21 of 43 with four interceptions and 280 yards. Conley led the Titans with 47 rushing yards of the team's 138 total and Driver made a total of seven catches for 116 yards.
Defensively, IWU was led by Gresko's 14 total tackles, including nine solo. Senior linebacker Ben Houk had 13 tackles and senior safety P.J. Cummings had 10 with five solo.
The Scots were led on defense by Erik Weber, who had 11 solo tackles and assisted on three more. Cory Bishop had 10 tackles for Monmouth.