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Jacksonville, IL -- The Beloit College Football team closed out their 2016 season Saturday as Illinois College's big second half led to a 38-17 setback.
Mike Nolden, playing his final game for the Buccaneers, caught 11 passes for 122 yards to become the career leader in receptions, with 193, passing Derek Carrier's previous mark of 189. He also moved into second on the career receiving yards list with 2,605. He had set the all-time mark for touchdown receptions several games ago and finished with 30.
In addition to Nolden, Evan Phillips, Kam Sallee, Danny May, Sawyer Lindland, Riley Pearson, Mason Dixon, Jack Sommer, David Lafayette, Jacob Grams, Danny Quijas and Colby Dace all played their final game for the Bucs.
The Blueboys scored first in the contest on a two-yard run with 4:27 left in the opening quarter, the lone score of the period. Beloit tied it three-plus minutes into the second quarter on Dixon's three-yard run. IC regained the lead three minutes later, capping a 13-play drive with a one-yard scoring run before the Bucs tied it at 14-all at the break on Dixon's 13-yard run four minutes before the half.
Illinois College took charge in the third quarter with a 27-yard field goal at 10:55 and an 11-yard scoring pass at 3:24, making it a 24-14 game heading to the fourth. The Blueboys made it 31-14 45 seconds into the final period on a 14-yard run, increasing their scoring run to 17 straight points, before Kam Sallee booted a 46-yard field goal at 9:17, his 11th of the season without a miss, to pull Beloit back to within 31-17. But that was the final scoring play of the season for the Buccaneers while IC closed out the game with a four-yard run with under a minute remaining.
Dixon finished with 113 yards on 22 carries to end his career with 4,511 yards and 39 rushing TDs, both second-most in Beloit history. May passed for 203 yards to finish with 4,167 yards thru the air and become just the third Buccaneer quarterback with two seasons of 2,000 yards. Sallee, complimenting Nolden, caught six passes for 50 yards.
On defense Caleb Wachal led the team with 14 tackles, 10 solo/first hit, while Lafayette had 11 and Pearson 10. Quin Dixon had Beloit's lone sack to go with nine tackles.
The Buccaneers now look to the 2017 season, which they open on Saturday, September 2, vs. Lake Forest College at Strong Stadium.
- October 29, 2016