BOURBONNAIS, Ill. – The Indiana Wesleyan University football team just earned the program’s biggest road win with a 40-36 victory at Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) on the Tigers’ Homecoming weekend. IWU outscored ONU 23-8 in the second half to erase an 11-point halftime deficit.
HOW BIG IS THIS WIN?!
Olivet Nazarene entered play on Saturday with a 4-3 record and 3-0 in the MSFA Midwest League. Their three losses came to teams currently ranked in the NAIA Top-25 Coaches’ Poll – No. 2 Marian (Ind.), No. 17 Concordia (Mich.) and No. 21 Siena Heights (Mich.) and two of the losses were single digits.
QB Zack Blair threw for 359 yards and 3 touchdowns on 26-of-38 attempts. The 359 yards is a career-high and is the second time this season he brook the 300-yard plateau. His other 300-yard game was in the first game of the season when he tossed 309 yards vs. Taylor (Ind.). Blair had a pair of 100-yard receivers with Brayden Smith (165 yards, 2 touchdowns) and Dontea Henderson (138 yards, 1 touchdown).
The game-winning score saw Brayden Smith throwing a 36-yard touchdown pass to Dontea Henderson to give the Wildcats the 40-36 lead with 9:52 remaining in the game. It was the first passing attempt for Smith this season.
For the second consecutive week, the Wildcats trailed at halftime and showed a resiliency in the second half. This week, Olivet Nazarene scored a touchdown with six seconds left in the first half to lead 28-17 at halftime. IWU responded with a 16-0 third quarter and a 23-8 advantage throughout the second half.
“What an awesome win for this football program and University. The resolve our players showed and the belief they had in each other and the coaches was exceptional.”
NEXT FOR THE WILDCATS
Indiana Wesleyan has one game left on their four game road trip. IWU travels to Ann Arbor, Michigan to play No. 17 Concordia (Mich.) next Saturday at 1 p.m.