RBs James Robinson, Steve McShane shine in season finales
James Robinson (Lutheran) scorched the field for 256 yards and two touchdowns Saturday as Illinois State (6-4) rolled to a 35-28 win over Youngstown State. The win, however, snapped a four-game losing skid for the Redbirds, who will miss out on the FCS playoffs this year. Senior Steve McShane (Freeport) had a highlight-reel 65-yard touchdown run, rushing for 129 yards on the day. But his Western Illinois Leathernecks (5-6) lost, falling 15-13 to Indian State, to close out the year without a postseason nod. McShane did eclipse the 1,000-yard marker (1,031) in the season (and his career) finale.
TE Matt Kopp hauls in 1st-team honor
Coe College junior tight end Matt Kopp (Belvidere) earned first-team American Rivers All Conference after a quarter of his receptions wound up as touchdowns. Kopp finished the season with 24 catches for 224 receiving yards — an average of 27.5 yards per game — with six TDs for Coe, which went 6-4 on the year.
Abby Woollacott makes quick return
Junior center Abby Woollacott (Lutheran) has made a quick return from a pair of summer knee surgeries, and she is already working her way back into the NIU women’s basketball lineup. She has played in every game this season after it appeared she would miss some time following arthroscopic knee surgeries in June and then another in October. But she played seven minutes and grabbed a pair of rebounds during a 70-59 win over the University of Northern Iowa on Sunday, and has played at least six minutes in each game this season. NIU (2-1) will head to Indiana to take on the Hoosiers at 1 p.m. Sunday.
Six Regents rise to all-conference status
Rockford (3-7) fell 38-7 to Eureka back on Nov. 10 to close out the season, but six players were recently named to the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference all-conference teams, led by a Rochelle grad and three other first-teamers. Tight end Adam Ambrogio, who had 15 catches in the Regents’ season finale, earned first-team status for the second year in a row after he led the NACC tight ends in receptions (34), receiving yards (358) and receiving touchdowns (5). Other first-team All-NACC performers were led by offensive lineman William Lawhorn (Rochelle) and include defensive end Jared Johnson and defensive back Dylan Peterson (Reynolds). Running back Chance Manning (Durand) was named second team All-NACC and linebacker Jallen Bashford was honorable mention. The four First Team All-NACC selections are tied for the most in program history.
Jay Taft: 815-987-1384; firstname.lastname@example.org; @JayTaft