Alex Garvey caught three touchdown passes for Illinois Wesleyan in their 34-33 overtime win over Millikin on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012. (Photo by Marc Featherly/iwusports.com)
By Eric Stock
BLOOMINGTON - Illinois Wesleyan drove 98 yards for a game-tying touchdown in the fourth quarter and stopped a two-point conversion attempt in overtime to escape Millikin, 34-33, in its College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin opener at Tucci Stadium.
The Titans rallied from a 27-13 deficit in the second half as Rob Gallik connected with Alex Garvey from four yards out for his their touchdown tandem in the game late in the third quarter.
After Millikin downed a punt at the IWU 2-yard line with 9:52 to play, the Titans embarked on a 98-yard drive highlighted by three third-down conversions and capped by a 4-yard touchdown run by T.J. Stinde with 1:38 remaining to force overtime.
Stinde, in his first game back since suffering an ankle injury on Sept. 8, rushed for 185 yards on 30 carries.
The Titans got the ball first in the overtime and scored on Sean Conley's four-yard run. After Millikin answered on a 17-yard strike from Matt Holmes to Sean Maloney, second year Big Blue coach Patrick Ehterton elected to go for 2 and the win.
The gamble appeared destined to pay off after IWU was flagged for a defensive hold, placing the ball at the IWU 1, but Holmes' face pass intended for Tommy Eichenauer was broken up by Tyrell Bolden in the corner of the endzone, sealing the win for IWU.
"I think if I was in (Millikin's) situation, I would have gone for two too, " IWU coach Norm Eash said. "They had the lead the whole ball game and all of the sudden, we got momentum back."
Gallik completed 22 of 31 passes for 210 yards and three touchdowns. Holmes threw for 257 yards and four touchdowns, while rushing for 108 yards.
The Titans improve to 4-0, 1-0 in the CCIW. Millikin drops to 3-1, 0-1.
Wesleyan will return to next Saturday afternoon at North Park.
Eric Stock can be reached by firstname.lastname@example.org.