Giovanni Weeks and #8 Wheaton will visit #9 Trinity under the lights on Saturday at 6 pm in San Antonio.
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CONCLUDE THE ACTION OUTSIDE THE CONFERENCE
After watching from the sidelines during season-opening action a week ago, five football teams from the Collegiate Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW) will have their turn to join the fray come Week 2 of the season. NCAA Division III football.
Highlights of this week’s schedule include defending league champion and second-ranked North Central visiting Wabash at noon CT, #8 Wheaton traveling to #9 Trinity for a top 10 fight in San Antonio, Texas and Carroll meeting with Wisconsin Lutheran for the inaugural Glazers Bowl presented by Kwik Trip
AUGIE, MILLIKIN IN THE WIN COLUMN
Augustana and Millikin were the winners of Week 1 last Saturday.
The Vikings posted a 34-28 victory over Rhodes at Rock Island. A 21-point second quarter set the tone for the Vikings, who received 248 passing yards and three touchdowns from quarterback Cole Bhardwaj.
Carlton Hall earned a victory in his head coaching debut at Millikin in Big Blue’s 28-14 victory over Greenville in Decatur. MU, which had an unanswered 28 midway through the game, outscored the visitors 402-224 and received 230 passing yards from Aidan Lombardo.
CCIW ANNOUNCES WEEK 1 AWARD WINNERS
Augustana quarterback Cole Bhardwaj, Millikin defensive lineman Alexander Perkins and Millikin punter Peter Slade, Jr. were selected as CCIW Student-Athlete of the Week on Monday.
Bhardwaj completed 18 passes for 248 yards and three touchdowns in the Vikings’ 34-28 season-opening win over Rhodes at Rock Island. Bhardwaj, who did not throw an interception in the win, completed a 54-yard touchdown throw to Bobby Inserra just 76 seconds into the game, setting the tone for the hosts’ win. His pair of touchdown throws in the second quarter helped AC take a 31-7 halftime lead.
Perkins was all over the field in Millikin’s 28-14 Week 1 victory over Greenville. He shared the team lead with eight tackles, but added 4.0 tackles for loss and sacked GU quarterback Peyton Bates to force a GU punt late in the third quarter. Perkins’ effort allowed MU to limit the visitors to just 224 yards of total offense.
Making his college debut, Slade, Jr. averaged 42.0 yards on four punts with a 45-yard punt in Millikin’s victory. The freshman also rushed for 18 yards from MU’s punt on a play that extended the Big Blue’s first scoring drive of the afternoon.
NORTH CENTRAL, WHEATON REMAINS CONSISTENT IN THE TOP 25
Despite the opening weekend breaks, both North Central and Wheaton held their own in the D3football.com Top 25 poll released last Sunday.
The Cardinals held onto the No. 2 spot behind top-ranked Mary Hardin-Baylor. The Cru, who defeated NCC in last season’s Stagg Bowl, received the 25 first-place votes to be unanimous No. 1. The Thunder stayed at #8.
#2 NORTH CENTRAL IN WABASH, NOON CT
Second-ranked North Central will begin their bid to return to the Stagg Bowl for the third straight season when the Cardinals travel to Crawfordsville, Indiana, for a noon CT kickoff at Wabash at Little Giant Stadium. The two teams have met twice in the NCAA playoffs since 2011, but it is the first regular season matchup between the two schools since 1915.
NCC returns with 12 starters from a year ago, including preseason D3football.com All-Americans Dan Gilroy, Ethan Greenfield and DeAngelo Hardy. Greenfield enters the season as the second leading active rusher in all of college football with a North Central record 4,682 yards.
The Cardinals have won seven straight non-conference games during the regular season since 2016 and will be looking for their eighth straight win in the season opener.
Wabash, voted second in a North Coast Athletic Conference preseason poll, is 1-0 after rallying for a 52-48 home win over Hampden-Sydney last Saturday afternoon. Donovan Snyder’s 15-yard touchdown run in the final minute turned out to be the game-winning touchdown. The Little Giants were 7-3 a year ago and will play a regular season game against a CCIW opponent for the first time since a 28-6 win at Millikin on Sept. 15, 2007.
Saturday’s meeting at Crawfordsville is the fifth all-time between North Central and Wabash from two very different eras. The Little Giants lead the series 3-1 and won back-to-back games against the Cardinals in 1914 and 1915. Wabash won his third straight series game in 2011, a 29-28 victory in the second round of the NCAA playoffs. . NCC found redemption eight years later, with a 51-15 win in the first round of the postseason, the first of five straight playoff wins en route to the national title.
HENDRIX IN WASHU, 13:00
WashU will begin its fourth season as a member of the CCIW when the Bears welcome Hendrix back for a non-league start Saturday at 1 p.m. at Francis Olympic Field in St. Louis, Mo.
The Bears, who received preseason D3football.com Top 25 votes, went 7-4 overall last season, 7-2 in the CCIW and made an appearance in the inaugural Culver’s Isthmus Bowl last November.
The All-CCIW quarterback and wide receiver duo of Matt Rush and Cole Okmin return for the WashU offense. Offensive lineman Alex Vogel and defensive lineman Jamel Streater also return for the Bears after receiving All-CCIW recognition in 2021.
Hendrix shut out Austin last Saturday in Conway, Ark., 20-0. The Warriors allowed just 114 yards and didn’t allow a single completion in the win. HC went 3-7 last season and was voted fifth in a Southern Athletic Association preseason poll.
The Bears lead the all-time series with Hendrix, 3-1. The two teams met each season from 2013 through 2016. WashU won both contests in St. Louis (2014, 2016). WashU and Hendrix played as conference rivals during WashU’s two seasons as an associate member of the SAA, and Saturday’s matchup marks Hendrix’s first match against an active CCIW member.
OHIO WESLEYAN AT ILLINOIS WESLEYAN, 1 PM
Season 36 of Norm Eash’s coaching era begins Saturday for the Illinois Wesleyan when the Titans host the Ohio Wesleyan at 1 pm at Tucci Stadium in Bloomington, Ill. It is the first football meeting between the two schools.
A pair of All-CCIW players return for IWU, one on each side of the ball. Charlie Hamilton anchors the offense after making 52 receptions for 798 yards and eight touchdowns. He will look to connect with new quarterback Jay Lemanager. Conor Murphy is back on the defensive line after ranking fourth in the league in sacks in 2021.
The Titans are looking for their first season-opening win since defeating Wisconsin-Whitewater 17-10 on Sept. 2, 2017.
The Ohio Wesleyan is looking for its first win of the season after falling in last week’s opener against Otterbein in Delaware, Ohio. Quarterback Zack Leonard threw for 258 yards and a pair of touchdowns, including an 88-yard touchdown to Jakii Alston in the second quarter. OWU went 8-2 overall and 7-2 in the North Coast Athletic Conference in 2021. The Battling Bishops were scheduled for fourth place in the league’s 2022 preseason poll.
IWU will play an NCAC member for the first time since a 41-35 double-overtime victory over Wabash in the first round of the NCAA playoffs on November 21, 2009.
#8 WHEATON AT #9 TRINITY, 6 PM
One of the biggest matchups in the nation will take place on Saturday night in San Antonio, Texas, when #8 Wheaton visits #9 Trinity at 6 pm inside Trinity Stadium. It’s one of three Top 25 meetings on Saturday and joins #1 Mary Hardin-Baylor’s matchup with #6 Wisconsin-Whitewater as Top 10 fights, according to last Sunday’s D3football.com national poll.
Wheaton and Trinity will meet in football for the first time and Saturday’s game marks the WC’s first trip to Texas State since their NCAA quarterfinal game at Mary Hardin-Baylor on Dec. 3, 2016.
The Thunder have high hopes for 2022 after a 10-win campaign last season that ended in the second round of the NCAA playoffs. WC has won 10 games or more in five of the last seven seasons, including a trip to the domestic quarterfinals in 2019.
Only two of Wheaton’s 16 All-CCIW players return from last season’s senior team, both on offense. The big shot is preseason All-American running back Giovanni Weeks, who rushed for 1,470 yards and a school-record 20 touchdowns last fall. Junior offensive lineman Trevor Gabriele is also back after earning All-CCIW and All-Region accolades as a sophomore.
Trinity was untroubled in its 55-7 win over Sul Ross State on Saturday night. The Tigers put up 541 yards of offense in the game, highlighting a 300-yard effort by Tucker Horn and a three-touchdown night by running back Justin Carmouche. Trinity is the preseason favorite of the Southern Athletic Association after a 9-1 season in 2021 that ended at the hands of eventual national champion Mary Hardin-Baylor in the first round of the postseason.
CARROLL AT WISCONSIN LUTHERAN, 6 PM
State rivals Carroll and Wisconsin Lutheran will meet on Saturday night in Wauwatosa, Wis. when the Pioneers visit WLC’s Raabe Stadium at 6 pm for the inaugural Glazers Bowl presented by Kwik Trip. Although only 13 miles separate the campuses from the institutions, it is the first meeting between the Pioneers and Warriors on the grid.
Carroll looks to start 1-0 for the fourth straight season after going 6-4 last fall and finish fourth in CCIW at 5-4.
The Pioneers return with 18 starters from that team, including All-CCIW First Teamers catcher Austin Eichstaedt and return specialist Keon Miller.
WLC looks to bounce back from a 42-7 setback at Lake Forest last Saturday, a matchup in which the Warriors allowed 42 unanswered points in the game’s final 53 minutes. WLC went 3-7 last season and was voted sixth in a 2022 preseason Northern Collegiate Athletics Conference poll.
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The Illinois and Wisconsin Conference of Universities (CCIW) was founded in 1946 and currently serves nine member institutions, including Augustana College (Rock Island, Ill.), Carroll University (Waukesha, Wis.), Carthage College (Kenosha, Wis. ), Elmhurst University (Elmhurst, Ill.), Illinois Wesleyan University (Bloomington, Ill.), Millikin University (Decatur, Ill.), North Central College (Naperville, Ill.), North Park University (Chicago, Ill.), and Wheaton College (Wheaton, Illinois).