BELOIT - The Green Bay Packers weren't the only Wisconsin-based team to pull off an improbable comeback against an Illinois opponent this weekend.
Before the Packers' heroics Sunday evening, Beloit College rallied from a 13-point fourth quarter deficit to defeat Knox 23-20 Saturday at Strong Stadium.
Beloit Turner graduate Juan Reyes, a freshman for the Bucs, kicked the game-winning field goal, a 37-yarder with 22 seconds remaining to cap the comeback.
Reyes not only capped the scoring, he opened it as well. Less than four minutes into the game, Reyes caught a 26-yard touchdown pass from Erick Mitchell to give the Bucs a 7-0 lead.
After that initial score, it was all Knox until the fourth quarter. The Prairie Fire rolled for 20 straight points, starting with a big play later in the first quarter.
Knox quarterback Jacob Amaro hit Kobe Shutter with a 79-yard TD pass to bring the Prairie Fire within 7-6.
Braeden Westfall scored a pair of touchdowns, one from two yards out with 6:32 to play in the first half to give Knox a 13-7 lead, and the other in the third quarter, a one-yard plunge that made it 20-7 with 9:03 to play.
The Bucs offense came alive in the fourth quarter, drawing to within 20-13 when Tyler Korous caught a 14-yard pass from Mitchell with 12:43 to play in the game.
The Mitchell-Korous connection struck again under four minutes later, this time from two yards out, to tie the score at 20-20 with 9:24 to play. After the Bucs (1-1) forced a punt, they went on a solid drive, taking the ball to the Knox seven-yard line. But Andy Berlin, who had earlier missed an extra point, missed a 24-yard field goal that would've put the Bucs in front.
The Bucs defense held again and they took over at midfield with 1:45 to play. Mitchell connected with Ethan Conley twice on the drive and rushed it three times before setting up Reyes for the game-winning kick.
Joey Werner paced the Bucs on the ground, carrying the ball 30 times for 133 yards, while Mitchell finished with 236 yards and three touchdowns. Korous was the receiving star, catching 10 passes for 130 yards and the two scores. Reyes finished with four catches for 56 yards.
• UP NEXT: The Bucs will be back in action Sept. 22 when they host Cornell for homecoming.
• Saturday's Boxscore:
Knox...............................6 7 7 0 - 20
Beloit .............................7 0 0 16 - 23
BC_ Reyes, 26 pass from Mitchell (Berlin kick)
KC- Shutter, 79 pass from Amaro (kick failed)
KC- Westfall, 2 run (Flores kick)
KC- Westfall, 1 run (Flores kick)
BC- Korous, 14 pass from Mitchell (kick fail)
BC- Korous, 2 pass from Mitchell (Berlin kick)
BC- Reyes, 37 kick
TEAM STATS: First downs: KC 15, BC 22; Rushing: KC, 47-111, BC, 41-164; Passing KC 32-18-0; BC 34-20-2; Total offense: KC 344, BC 400; Fumbles-lost: KC 1-1; BC 0-0; Penatlies KC 6-43, BC 7-64; Punting 3-38.6; BC 8-36.9
IINDIVIDUAL LEADERS: Rushing: KC, Westfall 28-111; BC, Werner 30-133; Passing: KC, Amaro 18-32, 233 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT; BC, Mitchell 34-20-236 yards, 3 TD, 2 INT Receving: KC, Shutter 2-90; BC, Korous 10-130