Titans drop home opener to last second Field Goal

Tucci Stadium
Illinois Wesleyan fell in their home opener to UW-LaCrosse. (WJBC file photo)

By Illinois Wesleyan Communications

BLOOMINGTON –  After erasing a 15 point deficit in the final quarter, the Illinois Wesleyan football team was defeated in their season opener by a 20-yard field goal as time expired, 34-31, against Wisconsin-LaCrosse at Tucci Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 8.

The Eagles improved to 2-0.

Trailing 31-16 going into the fourth quarter, junior Jack Healy was the recipient of two touchdown tosses by junior Brandon Bauer, one of 3 yards with 12:48 left and the other of 7 yards with 9:03 left. A two-point conversion after the second TD tied the game at 31-31. The Eagles then went 74 yards on eight plays to set up the 20 yard kick by Ryan Beirne that won the game.

Bauer was 31 of 43 for 320 yards. The 31 completions is third most in a single game by an IWU quarterback, behind the 34 by Doug Moews (at Wheaton; Nov 07, 1987) and the 33 by Chad Beaty (at Wheaton; Oct 24, 1998).

Morgan Alexander led IWU with 64 rushing yards on 16 carries and Bryce Dooley was the Titans’ top receiver, coming out of the backfield to make 12 grabs for 120 yards.

Mike Connelly accounted for 10 total tackles to lead IWU while Ryan Swift had eight and Justin Correllmade seven. Senior Eric Dubose had five total tackles and a quarterback sack.

What’s Next?
Illinois Wesleyan opens College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin play against Wheaton College next Saturday, Sept. 15, in a 6 p.m. game at Tucci Stadium.