The Commercial-News, Danville, IL


September 16, 2012

Illinois gets healthy in victory

CHAMPAIGN — Illinois coach Tim Beckman has said all week that his goal was to make his football team better.

And for him, that means getting his younger players on the field.

On Saturday afternoon, the Fighting Illini had 23 first-year players get on the field as Illinois rolled over Charleston Southern 44-0.

“We don’t have a bunch of depth,’’ Beckman said. “If you look at our two-deep, there are 23 freshmen and sophomores on our two-deep. We are not a very veteran-laden team other than a couple senior starters.

“As a coach, you have to give them game experience. Because there is no way they are going to get better unless you get them involved in games.’’

In all, the Fighting Illini, which improved to 2-1, had 39 freshmen or sophomores play against the Buccaneers, an NCAA FCS school, which lost its 15 straight game.

“That’s what this program is going to need, and that’s always what it’s going to be,’’ Beckman said. “It’s going to be about a lot of young players coming in and playing.

“We are going to play young players … We want players that want to come in and play, not sit and watch.’’

One of the 39 underclassmen on Saturday was sophomore quarterback Reilly O’Toole.

The Wheaton-Warrenville-South product had a career day for the Illini, completing 26-of-31 passes for 333 yards and five touchdowns to four different receivers.

“I just executed, it’s as simple as that,’’ said O’Toole, who was 10-of-14 for 54 yards in last week’s 45-14 loss at Arizona State. “We had guys running great routes and they were open, so it makes the game a lot more fun just pitching and catching,”

And while he set a school record with a .839 completion percentage, O’Toole was quick to point out that he was far from perfect.

The sophomore admitted he made a mistake with a second quarter interception.

“That’s what you expect, you expect to complete passes or throw the ball away,’’ he said. “I had one bad pass in the red zone.

“I should have slid my line (protection) on that play and that would have given me a little more time to make a good pass.’’

And while the experience that O’Toole gained the past two weeks is invaluable, Beckman knows that it’s because junior quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase is out with an ankle injury.

“I’m proud of the way he came in, and he performed,’’ Beckman said. “Our offensive staff did a good job of enabling him to hit some people that were open.’’

O’Toole isn’t the only Illini player that got an opportunity on Saturday because of an injury.

Joining Scheelhaase on the sidelines on Saturday were starting running back Josh Ferguson, center Graham Pocic and linebacker Houston Bates.

“It’s challenging,’’ Beckman said. “You’ve got young men that are injured. They don’t want to be injured. No one wants to be injured. It’s one of those things that you have adapt through it and you have to push your young players to perform.’’

And Illinois got some very impressive performances from freshmen.

Running back Dami Ayoola had a career-high 55 yards and a nifty 28-yard touchdown run on a fourth-down play in the second quarter.

“He got hit by a couple of guys, kept his feet moving, got that first down and finished it up,’’ Beckman said. “That is the capabilities of Ayoola.’’

And at linebacker, Mason Monheim got the start in just his three collegiate football game.

He made his presence known on the seventh play of the contest when he picked off a pass by Charleston Southern’s Derek Hatcher. Monheim, who also had five tackles, returned it to the Buccaneers 7 setting up O’Toole’s first touchdown pass of 4 yards to Ryan Lankford.

“We need these young guys to step up and be accountable,’’ said Illinois senior Ashante Williams. “This game was a confidence boost, a guy like Mason making a lot of plays, that helps build his confidence as we get prepared each and every week for tougher and harder teams.

“When we hit the Big Ten, he will have a full head of steam knowing that he had this experience.’’

And Monheim was part of an Illinois defense that rebounded from last week’s debacle at Arizona State, allowing 510 yards, to get a shutout for the first time since beating Western Illinois 21-0 in 2007.

“It was big, especially with the way we played last week as a defense,’’ Williams said. “We beat ourselves up this week, we felt like the bulk of the points and the loss last week was our fault.’’

Illinois will continue its three-game homestand next Saturday when the Fighting Illini host the Louisiana Tech Bullogs, a 56-37 winner over Rice on Saturday night.

Kickoff next week at Memorial Stadium is set for 7 p.m.

Text Only
  • SPT - CN0722 - Post 210 Baseball photo 1 Speakers stay alive TILTON — Danville Post 210 baseball got their revenge Sunday afternoon and did it in style. After losing to Shelby County in the Fourth Division Tournament opener on Saturday, Danville had to win two games on Sunday if they wanted to advance and keep

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - CN0722 - VCS photo Youth gets served at VCS Fan Appreciation Night OAKWOOD — The Vermilion County Speedway Fan Appreciation Night was more a spotlight for the youth on and off the track.While kids in the stands had bike races and decided the order for racers in certain feature races, there was a bunch of kids going

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local Roundup: Dans drop third straight SPRINGFIELD, Ohio — Ninth-inning rallies are becoming the norm for the Danville Dans.Unfortunately, all three of the comebacks have failed to produce a victory.On Monday night, Danville shortstop Matt Henderson delivered a two-run single in the ninth

    July 22, 2014

  • No Headline Provided TODAYBasketballDustbowl at Palmer ArenaLegion BaseballFourth Division Tournament at Charleston: Danville Post 210 Speakers vs. Piatt County, 7:15 p.m.Prospect League BaseballSpringfield Sliders at Danville Dans, 6:30 p.m.TennisGreater Danville Open a

    July 22, 2014

  • Legion Baseball Galnce LEGION BASEBALLIllinois Fourth Division TournamentSaturday, July 19 scoresAt CharlestonGame 1 — Mattoon 14, Charleston 4Game 2 — Piatt County 14, Paris 0At DanvilleGame 3 — Rantoul 10, Lincoln 1Game 4 — Shelby County 1, Danville 0Sunday, July 20 scor

    July 22, 2014

  • No Headline Provided LocalAUTO RACINGFrom SundayAt Vermilion County SpeedwayUMP Modifieds1. Randy Lines2. Devin Gilpin3. Jamie Lomax4. Chad Evans5. Roger Cary6. Kevin Gummere7. Don Kiger8. Denny Schwartz9. Kenny Carmichael10. Slater Blickensderfer11. Neil Rollins12. Bria

    July 22, 2014

  • Local golf and tennis scores LOCAL GOLFHarrison Park OpenFinal resultsChampionship FlightKeenan 71-69 — 140Cunningham 68-75 — 143Enos 73-75 — 148Standwich 75-78 — 153M.Hansgen 77-76 — 153Cross 76-78 — 154Rowe 77-77 — 154First flightMasterman 80-73 — 153Millis 79-76 — 155Gallez 8

    July 22, 2014

  • SPT- CN0720 - Dans photo 2 Rex claim Rickey Cup DANVILLE — It’s a tried but true statement that good pitching beat good hitting.The evidence could be found in this year’s Clash at the Border rivalry between the Danville Dans and the Terre Haute Rex.The Rex won the final three meetings, including a

    July 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT- CN0720 - Speakers photo Speakers come up one run short in tournament TILTON — Offense was hard to come by Saturday night at the Carl Gruber Sports Complex as the Danville Post 210 Speakers started post-season play against Shelby County and lost 1-0.Both teams put their best pitchers on the mound to start the District

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cunningham leads in HP Open DANVILLE — Bruce Cunningham took the first round lead at the 2014 Harrison Park Open with a score of 68.Russ Leverenz shot a 70 to get to second place, while David Keenan shot a 71 for third and Steve Enos is fourth at 73.The final round is today wit

    July 20, 2014

NJCAA Tourney Photos 2014

Check out the action at the NJCAA Division II National Men's Basketball Tournament March 18-22 at DACC. Buy photos from the Commercial-News here:

Must Read
AP Video
Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment
NDN Video
Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid Kanye West Tells-All on Wedding in "GQ" Interview Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Scarlett Johansson Set To Marry In August New Star Wars Episode XII X-Wing Revealed Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB' Adam Levine Ties the Knot Sebastian The Ibis Walks Beautiful Bride Down The Aisle | ACC Must See Moment NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Faces of Souls Lost in Malaysian Plane Crash 105-year-old woman throws first pitch Man Creates Spreadsheet of Wife's Reasons for Turning Down Sex 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success Rory McIlroy struggles, surges, wins British Open