COLLEGE PARK — After taking an early 3-0 deficit, Javon Leake scored on a scintillating 97-yard kickoff return to begin a sensational offensive afternoon for the University of Maryland football team.
The sophomore running back exploded for four touchdowns and tallied 274 all-purpose yards to lead the Terps to a comfortable 63-33 win over Illinois at Maryland Stadium on Oct. 27 in front of a crowd of more than 30,000.
UMD did not relinquish its lead after going up 7-3 with 11:30 left in the first quarter following Leake’s kickoff return.
In the first ever conference meeting between Illinois and Maryland, the Terps (5-3, 3-2 in Big Ten) totaled 712 yards of offense and registered a solid defensive effort for most of the afternoon to notch a much-needed win after coming off a shutout loss at Iowa, 23-0, on Oct. 20.
The Terps held Illinois starting quarterback M.J. Rivers to 3-of-13 passing for 45 yards and only one third-down conversion, as the Fighting Illini (3-5, 1-4) had to settle for field goals for most of the first three quarters. The 6-foot-4 freshman had to leave the game late in the second after suffering a concussion.
AJ Bush relieved Rivers and threw two touchdowns on 11-of-19 attempts to finish with 216 yards. Dominic Stampley caught four passes for 153 yards and two touchdowns, while Upper Marlboro native Reggie Corbin added a touchdown and rushed for 159 yards on 18 carries to lead the way for Illinois.
UMD quarterback Kasim Hill went 11-for-19 passing for 265 yards and three touchdowns – one apiece to receivers Jahrvis Davenport and Jeshaun Jones and another on a 25-yard play to tight end Chigoziem Okonkwo.
Late in the game, Okonkwo added another rushing score on a 54-yard scamper to the end zone to culminate the an offensive outburst, helping Maryland score its highest point total since joining the Big Ten in 2014.
Next, Maryland hosts Michigan State on Nov. 3 at noon in a late-season effort to qualify for a bowl game.