We didn't get a chance to catch up with Millikin football coach Patrick Etherton after his team's overtime loss at rival Illinois Wesleyan this past weekend.
After trailing much of the game, Wesleyan forced overtime late in the fourth quarter against the Big Blue.
The Titans won the coin flip, scored a touchdown and kicked an extra point.
Millikin responded in kind, and decided to go for the win with a two-point conversion. After a defensive holding penalty, the Big Blue could not convert on its second shot at the win.
Etherton said Tuesday the loss was indeed a tough one, but the Big Blue has already moved on and is focused on its Homecoming game this weekend against North Central.
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The following is Etherton's thoughts on the Wesleyan game and its ending:
“We played well — as well as we’ve played in a while. At times we didn’t make plays when needed to. We had some breakdowns in the game, just from missed assignments, and gave up one big play.
“At the end of the game, they scored first in overtime. I told (Millikin assistant) coach (Tim) Connell, as soon as they scored and kicked the extra point, that, ‘Hey, we’re going for two. So get a two-point play ready.’ So we scored, we lined up, ran a play and got a defensive holding penalty on their guy, which was right by us. We lined up for another one, ran the play and just didn’t execute the way we were supposed to. It was the right play call to make. It’s easy to second-guess, it’s easy to sit around and watch the film (and second-guess), but it was the right play. We had a guy open, we just didn’t get it done. We had zero regrets.
“Our kids met on Sunday and were fine. Our kids all knew, I mean we all knew, I think every kid in the program the last two years knew, we were going for two. There was probably zero question. My wife knew we were going for two and she was watching the game at home. It’s just that deal, we are going to play for wins and control our own destiny. We knew if we get this, ‘Hey, we win the game.’ And that’s what you ask for.
“It’s tough (to lose). But just like wins, our guys get 24 hours. We met Sunday, it was tough and we watched it, but then it was behind us, and now we are on to North Central. We can’t feel sorry for ourselves because no one else is going to. North Central is not going to feel bad for us because we lost in overtime. So, we’ll get after it today and have a good practice.”