Benedictine (Ill.) Scores Late Touchdown to Snap Visiting Bulldogs' Five-Game Win Streak

Benedictine (Ill.) Scores Late Touchdown to Snap Visiting Bulldogs' Five-Game Win Streak

LISLE, Ill.--Adrian College Football saw its five-game winning streak come to a stunning end on Saturday as quarterback Ryan Sample's touchdown plunge from 2 yards out with 1 minute and 5 seconds left in the game gave host Benedictine a thrilling 35-28 comeback victory.

THE BASICS
= Final Score: Benedictine University 35, Adrian College 28

= Location: Village of Lisle-Benedictine University Sports Complex 

= Records: Benedictine Eagles (2-1); Adrian Bulldogs (1-1)

FOR ADRIAN
= Senior quarterback Stephen Milarch completed 20 of 34 passes for a career-high 222 yards and a touchdown of 18 to sophomore wide receiver D'Angelo Gaines.

= Junior running back David Nutter rushed for a game-best 75 yards on 23 carries and three touchdowns, which is a career best in a Bulldogs uniform.

= Junior lineman Damon Fuller led the AC defense with three of the team's four sacks, dropping the quarterback for 15 yards. He also had a forced fumble and a QB hurry among his four tackles.

= Senior defensive back Pat Stephenson, junior linebacker Steven St. Cyr and freshman linebacker Nathaniel Nicholson led the defense with six tackles apiece.

THE OPPOSITION
= Sample finished with 19 of 31 passing for 350 yards and three TDs and ran for another 61 yards and two scores for 401 yards of total offense.

Elijah Walker and Jesse Kilbourn tied for a game-high seven receptions with the former getting 159 yards to lead all players and the latter gaining 107.

Victor Johnson led four Eagles in double-digit tackles with 16 total. Mark Hammond (8 total) and Maison Bittner (6) led all student-athletes with five solos.

HOW IT HAPPENED
= The Eagles held leads of 7-0, 14-7 and 27-14 before escaping with the last-minute victory.

= Benedictine had 483 total yards, including 350 via the air.

= Both teams provided thrilling moments in the final 2:35. Adrian took its first lead of the afternoon, 28-27, after Nutter crossed the goal line from 2 yards out to cap a 79-yard drive in 16 plays over 8:07 and the extra point was good. But on the ensuing possession, Sample engineered a nine-play, 75-yard scoring drive in just 90 seconds and threw a 2-point conversion to Jake Valas to complete the seven-point comeback win.

= Adrian held a significant time of possession (38:42 to 21:18), but committed nine penalties for 82 yards. The Eagles had five infractions for 60 yards.

= Four of five Benedictine's scoring drives were 3:15 or less in elapsed time. The Eagles capitalized on an Adrian turnover to open the second half as Kilbourn caught a 20-yard TD pass from Sample just 6 seconds in, making the score 27-14.

= Sample and Co. marched 75 yards on three plays on the game's opening drive for a 24-yard Sample to Walker TD strike. BU led 7-0 at 14:21 of the first quarter.

= Adrian got good field position on its first TD scoring play at 1:25 remaining in the first. The Bulldogs worked 10 plays for 34 yards in 4:58 and Nutter crossed the goal line from the BU1 and the PAT tied it 7-7.

= The teams alternated TD scoring drives for the rest of the first half: Walker 10-yard reception from Sample at 13:10 of the second quarter for Benedictine, Gaines 18-yard catch from Milarch at 9:23 for Adrian, and Sample a 10-yard rush at 1:08 for BU. That run finished off a 94-yard, 13-play, 4:06 TOP drive--all highs for the Eagles on the day. It was 21-14 at halftime in favor of the home team. 

BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
= Adrian was ranked 25th in the NCAA Division III preseason poll by The Sporting News.

= Benedictine won for the first time in five all-time meetings. Adrian won the previous four games by a combined score of 127-19.

= The Bulldogs lost for only the 10th time in 34 road games under Coach Jim Deere.

= Reigning conference and D3football.com special teams player of the week Cameron Cook, a junior, made all four PATs to remain perfect on the season. He is 7-for-7 on extra-points and 3-for-3 on field goal attempts.

= With 181 punting yards today, junior Connor Storms now has 4,197 for his career. That ranks seventh on the all-time chart in AC history. (No. 6: 4,327 yards by Jim Allshouse, 1974-75)

= Fuller now has three sacks to increase his career total to 23-1/2, which is second on the Bulldogs' career list.

UP NEXT
= Adrian will have its home opener next Saturday during its Homecoming game versus Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Kickoff at Docking Stadium is scheduled for 4 p.m.

#AdrianBulldogs #GoDawgs #GDTBAB