DECATUR — Led by four interceptions and seven sacks, Millikin's defense dominated Elmhurst Saturday, holding the Bluejays to a single touchdown in the 41-7 victory. 

Junior Gabe Xayathone led the Big Blue with 3.5 sacks and 6 total tackles and senior Isaiah Blumenshine had three sacks of his own.

Linebacker Matt Brown had a team high seven tackles including 1.5 tackles for a loss.

Freshmen Keshawn Marshall and Carl Coleman each had an interception as well.

The win was Millikin's seventh of the season — the Big Blue improved to 7-2, 5-2 — while Elmhurst fell to 2-7, 2-5.

The seven wins gives the Big Blue its most victories since 2003.

Millikin jumped out to an early leading scoring on both of its first two drives.

Nicco Stepina connected with Jordan Smith on a 20-yard pass play to make it 7-0.

Stepina then found Gerald Perry on an 8-yard touchdown pass to make it 14-0.

Elmhurst scored its only points of the game late in the second quarter on a 24-yard run by quarterback Orlando Hernandez.

Stepina scored on a 2-yard run in the third quarter to make it a 20-7 Big Blue lead.

The fourth quarter would be all Big Blue with Stepina connecting with Perry on a 40-yard touchdown pass to make it 27-7.

The Big Blue defense then put two touchdowns on the board on interception returns. Israel Smith scored on a 66-yard interception return.

On Elmhurst's next drive, Adonis Williamson returned an interception 66 yards to make it 41-7.

It was a record-setting day for Stepina, who was 16-for-26 for 252 yards and three touchdowns. Stepina broke his own school records for passing yards in a season at 2,478 with one game remaining.

Stepina now has 28 touchdown passes on the year breaking Matt Holmes' record of 26 set in 2012.

Stepina now has 62 touchdown passes in his career and is one shy of the school record of 63 set by Tim Briella.

Smith led the Big Blue receivers with four catches for 95 yards. Jazontae Howard led the Millikin rushing attack with 20 carries for 89 yards.

Millikin had 439 yards of total offense while holding Elmhurst to 279 yards.

The win keeps the Big Blue's playoff hopes alive.

Millikin is in third place in the CCIW behind the first place tie between North Central and Illinois Wesleyan at 6-1.

The Big Blue play at Illinois Wesleyan on Nov. 11 at 1 p.m.

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