CHICAGO -- Millikin's offense returned to form and in a battle of two strong defenses, it was the Big Blue that got the better of North Park University Saturday. 

Millikin quarterback Nicco Stepina connected with Jordan Smith for two touchdowns in the 30-15 victory.

Smith led all receivers with 123 yards and Tyrice Hines added 48 more. 

Big Blue (3-1, 1-1) coach Dan Gritti simplified the offensive game following last week's blowout loss to North Central and it worked. 

Stepina completed 17 of 27 passes for 249 yard and two TDs. George Jimerson Jr. led all rushers with 57 yards on the ground and a touchdown. 

Both defenses dominated early with both sides going scoreless in the first quarter. Millikin would score a second quarter safety when the North Park punter was forced to kick the ball out of the end zone after mishandling the snap. 

Pre-game discussion surrounded the defense power of North Park's (1-4, 0-3) Chaun Maiava and his CCIW leading tackle and sack stats. 

While Maiava was able to sack Stepina twice in the game, it was the Big Blue's defense that made getting behind the offensive line their specialty. 

Davion Jefferson led all players with 2.5 sacks and Josh Belcher added 2 sacks of his own. 

In total, Vikings quarterback Anthony DiNardo was sacked 7 times. 

Matt Brown led the Millikin defense with 12 tackles including two tackles for a loss.

The North Park offense was held to just 159 total yards and negative 8 yards on the ground. 

Millikin will host Wheaton (4-1, 2-1) next Saturday in another CCIW conference meeting. 

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Sports Writer

Sports writer for the Herald & Review.

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