Illinois never led at any point during the game, LA Tech scored first at the 7:29 mark of the first quarter on a 16-yard run by Jarred Craft. Illinois managed to get on the scoreboard after an impressive drive that stalled at the 27 where Taylor Zlewski marched on the field to kick a field goal, making the score 7 – 3 in favor of La Tech. Throughout the game there were a couple of skirmishes nothing to serious just boys being boys shoving each other a little, call it football bravado.
Whatever it was Bulldogs quarterback Cody Sokol put out the flames on that fire with an 80-yard touchdown pass to Junior running back Kenneth Dixion who knew exactly what to do with the rock after he got his hands on it by taking it to the house to make it 14-3.
Illinois kept the game respectful in the second quarter by scoring on a 25-yard touchdown pass on their own as quarterback Reilly O’Toole hit Jon Davis for the score. But on the Illini’s next drive O’Toole was picked-off by LA Tech’s Xavier Woods, who then took it 69 yards the other way for a pick-6 to make it 21-9. This would take us to the half.
The Fighting Illini looked for a surge as the 3rd quarter got underway and they got exactly that with just over 6 minutes left in the 3rd as running back Donnovonn Young ran in a 3 yard score to make it 21-15.
The teams seemed to go back and forth with scoring, Illinois field goals and touchdowns, La Tech all touchdowns when you do the math that’s going to end lopsided. The game was respectful at 21-18 La Tech early in the 4th quarter then everything stalled for the Illinois as La Tech scored two more touchdowns to make the final score 35-18.
The game ended with some dancing and smiling as the senior Defensive End Houston Bates was named the Most Valuable Player. Coach Holtz took the stage to raise the championship trophy while thanking the fans.