Rockford College sewed up the No. 2 slot in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conferences South Division with a 40-23 victory over Blackburn College in Carlinville Oct. 23.
The win means the Regents (6-2, 3-1) will play in the 5 p.m. game in Fridays (Oct. 29) UMAC tournament at the Metrodome in Minneapolis. The event is called Dome Day, matching teams from the UMACs two divisions.
Trailing 23-19 early in the third quarter, Rockford freshman Tim Kiddoo returned the kickoff after a field goal 90 yards for a TD. Kiddoo set a Regent record for longest kickoff return, eclipsing the old mark of 84 yards.
Rockford never again trailed and added a pair of fourth-quarter, TDs by John Feehan and Joseph Marianai, the Regents potent tailback duo. Feehan scored on a 5-yard run, Mariani on a 7-yarder.
Feehan carried 20 times for 77 yards, snapping his streak of 100-yard rushing games at six. However, his total was enough to vault him over the 1,000-yard rushing plateau to become only the second Regent to reach that lofty mark in a season (Marcus Howard did it twice in 2002 and 2003). Feehan has rushed for 1,052 yards through eight games.
The Rockford defense added to its school-record interception total with two more, giving the Regents 19 picks on the year.
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Mariani Honored: Rockford College sophomore tailback Joseph Mariani (Palatine) was named Upper Midwest Athletic Conference South Division offensive player of the week for the period ending Oct. 17.
Mariani got the start in the 77-12 blowout of Trinity Bible College Oct. 16 after first-string tailback John Feehan suffered a broken thumb. Mariani carried the ball just 14 times, but racked up 276 yards, an average of 19.7 yards per carry, while scoring TDs on runs of 1, 68 and 72 yards. The latter was the second-longest run from scrimmage in RC football history. His rushing total of 276 yards was the third-best effort ever by a Regent player.
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RVC Gets 3rd Win: Rock Valley College beat College of DuPage for the second time this season 27-7 at Glen Ellyn Oct. 23. On Sept. 25, the Golden Eagles beat the Chaparrals 14-7.
RVC (3-6, 2-5 in the N4C) closes its season Oct. 30 at Grand Rapids, Mich. Rock Valley faced Grand Rapids in its season opener Aug. 28, suffering a 41-6 loss.
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Beloit Tops Knox: After a week off, Beloit College beat Knox 21-13 Oct. 23 at Galesburg. The Bucs are 3-4 on the season, 2-4 in the Midwest Conference while Knox is winless (0-7, 0-6).
Beloit is at Ripon Oct. 30, then closes out its season with back-to-back home games Nov. 6 vs. Illinois College and Nov. 13 vs. Grinnell. All will be Midwest games.
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NIU Wins Shootout: Josh Haldi threw for six TDs and a career-high 333 yards Oct. 23 to lead Northern Illinois to a 59-38 shootout victory over Western Michigan at Kalamazoo, Mich.
NIU improved to 6-2 overall and 5-0 in the Mid-American Conference while Western Michigan fell to 1-6 and 0-4. The Huskies play at Ball State Oct. 30 before returning home to face Toledo on Tuesday night, Nov. 9, in a MAC showdown that will be nationally televised on ESPN2.
On NIUs biggest passing day in more than 10 years, Haldi fell short of a school record by one TD. Dan Sheldon caught six passes for 213 yards and three TDsthe fourth-highest receiving total in Huskie history.
The Huskies scored on their first four possessions, including the first play of the game, when running back Garrett Wolfe scampered 78 yards for a TD. Wolfe ran for 185 yards on 20 carries. The touchdown was his 12th of the season, keeping him among the nations scoring leaders.