WashU Falls to No. 17 Illinois Wesleyan at Home

Photo by Marco Quaroni
Photo by Marco Quaroni

St. Louis, Mo., Oct. 20, 2018 – The Washington University in St. Louis football team had its five-game home winning streak snapped with a 27-21 loss to No. 17 Illinois Wesleyan University Saturday at Francis Field in St. Louis.

Illinois Wesleyan won its sixth-straight game and improved to 6-1 and 6-0 in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW), while WashU had its four-game win streak snapped and fell to 5-2 and 4-2 in the CCIW. The Bears are in fourth place in the CCIW standings, two games behind IWU with three games left. 

Illinois Wesleyan scored on its opening possession going 84 yards on 13 plays to take a 7-0 advantage with 7:49 in the first. 

With junior QB Johnny Davidson on the bench, senior Ryan Arthur led the Bears to their first score of the game. He connected with sophomore wide receiver Nick Cione on a 4th-and-1 for the TD to make it 7-7 with 13:08 left in second.

The Titans took advantage of the wind in the second quarter and scored a pair of touchdowns midway through the second quarter to push the lead to 21-7. Davidson missed most of the second quarter, and came back for the final drive.

WashU was limited to 102 yards of total offense in the half. Arthur was 8-of-15 for 60 yards and a TD, while Davidson was 3-of-5 for 30 yards. Senior defensive back Ben Marcus led WashU with 12 tackles.

Davidson led a 13-play, 70-yard drive on its opening drive of the third quarter, and connected with junior wide receiver Nick Watts across the middle for an 18-yard TD to make it 21-14.

After WashU forced an IWU punt, Davidson scored from one-yard out to tie the game at 21-21 with 2:08 let in the third. The Titans answered right back though as QB Brandon Bauer scored from three yards out. The extra point failed to keep the score at 27-21 with 14 seconds left in the third. 

WashU drove to the IWU 32-yard line on its final drive, but Davidson's heave to the end zone as time expired was incomplete.

Davidson was 28-of-41 for 206 yards and a TD, while Cione had nine catches for 66 yards. Senior wide receivers Alex Fehlinger (81 yards) and Matt Goldberg (58 yards) each hauled in eight receptions, while junior running back John Fisher added 61 yards on 13 carries.

WashU's defense limited Illinois Wesleyan to 97 yards in the second half, including three three-and-outs. Senior linebacker Jake Coon had a season-high 16 tackles and three tackles for loss, while Marcus finished had a season-high 15 tackles.

IWU had a 37:40-22:20 advantage in time of possession, and the Bears were called for a season-high nine penalties and had two turnovers.

WashU begins a two-game road trip at Augustana (Ill.) on Saturday, Oct. 27, at 1 p.m. 

BEAR NOTEBOOK: WashU and Illinois Wesleyan have split 18 all-time meeting in a series that dates back to 1899… Head coach Larry Kindbom celebrated his 66th birthday Saturday … Goldberg is 33 receiving yards shy of 1,000 for his career.