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Millikin football faces former offensive coordinator as the Big Blue face Carroll University

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Millikin University on senior leadership and Cal Pohrte.

DECATUR — When Millikin football faces Carroll University on Saturday, it will be a battle between two teams coming off emotional wins.

The Big Blue were 27-21 overtime winners at Augustana last week while the Pioneers upset Illinois Wesleyan University, 34-33.

Saturday's match up also reunites Millikin head coach Dan Gritti with his former offensive coordinator Mike Budziszewski, who became Carroll's head coach in Jan. of 2020. Budziszewski led the Millikin offense for three seasons, helping the Big Blue set several offensive school records.

The Pioneers played just two scrimmages last spring, making this Budziszewski's first season coaching Carroll in game action. Carroll has started the season 2-0 opening the year with a 35-24 win over Benedictine before opening CCIW play with the win over Illinois Wesleyan.

After taking the lead with 10:22 left the game, Carroll held off a late drive by Illinois Wesleyan with the Titans missing a game winning field goal attempt as time expired.

The Pioneers had a stellar performance from sophomore wide receiver Austin Eichstaedt, who caught a career-high 12 passes for 229 yards and two touchdowns in the win. Eichstaedt was the CCIW Offensive Player of the Week and earned a spot on the D3football.com National Team of the Week. Carroll quarterback Michael Johnson threw for 365 yards and four touchdowns on 27-for-37 passing.

For the second time since April, the Millikin football team won in overtime at Augustana on Sept. 18. The Big Blue won 40-34 in four overtimes in the spring, but only needed one overtime session last week. 

Cal Pohrte

Millikin quarterback Cal Pohrte has thrown for 492 yards and five touchdowns over two games this season. 

After the Millikin defense held the Vikings to minus one yard on its overtime possession, the Big Blue scored on a 24-yard game winning pass from Cal Pohrte to Colton Lockwood. 

Minutes earlier Lockwood gave the Big Blue new life when he blocked Augustana's game winning field goal attempt as time expired in regulation. 

Millikin had 395 yards of total offense with 202 passing yards and a 193 rushing yards. The Vikings had 276 yards of total offense. Roedl rushed 33 times for 133 yards. Pohrte was 19-for-32 passing for 232 yards. Lockwood finished with seven catches for 118 yards.

Here's a look at the game:

Time: Saturday, 6 p.m. 

Location: Frank M. Lindsay Field in Decatur

Radio: No radio. 

Live Stats: https://athletics.millikin.edu/sidearmstats/football/summary

Live Video and Audio: https://athletics.millikin.edu/watch/?Live=297&type=Live. Aric Lee and Tony McClain will provide the commentary on the live broadcast.

Series: Millikin leads the series, 27-15-1.  

Last Meeting: Oct. 12, 2019: Millikin won 30-7. 

Next Game: Sat., Oct. 2 at 1 p.m. vs. Carthage College

Notes: The Big Blue special teams have blocked four kicks over the first two games of the season. This will be the fifth meeting between the two schools since Carroll rejoined the CCIW in 2016. The two teams did not play each other last year in the shortened season due to the pandemic. Pioneer kicker Jacob Laurent earned a spot on the National Team of the Week after going 2/2 on his field goal attempts of 30 and 41 yards in the second half. Laurent was the first Pioneer kicker to make a field goal of over 40 yards since 2008.


Contact Matthew Flaten at (217) 421-6968. Follow him on Twitter: @MattFlaten

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