Defense Stifles No. 14 Coyotes in 28-3 Homecoming Victory
Tyrone Walker caught four passes, including a touchdown.

Tyrone Walker caught four passes, including a touchdown.

Oct. 15, 2011

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NORMAL, Ill. - Illinois State linebacker Evan Frierson recorded a team-high eight tackles, four tackles-for-loss and three sacks to lead the Redbird defense in a 28-3 Homecoming victory over No. 14 South Dakota in front of 10,014 at Hancock Stadium. ISU improves to 4-3, while the Coyotes drop to 4-3.

Redbird quarterback Matt Brown was 16-for-20 for 133 yards, including 30 yards rushing and two touchdowns. Ashton Leggett led the ISU ground-attack with 121 yards and two touchdowns, while Tyrone Walker caught four passes for 46 yards and one score. South Dakota quarterback Dante Warren was 5-for-16 for 25 yards, and running back Marcus Sims finished with 37 total yards.

Brown scored his first-career rushing touchdown to give Illinois State the early lead. Facing fourth-and-goal from the three-yard line, Brown faked a handoff and ran three yards, untouched, for the score on a naked bootleg. The 13-play, 79-yard drive was capped by Nick Aussieker's extra point. After the Redbird defense forced South Dakota to punt on its first possession, the Coyotes regained the ball with an interception by Adam Broders at South Dakota's 37-yard line.

The Coyotes again had to punt, but Redbird returner Donovan Harden fumbled and South Dakota recovered at ISU's 23-yard line. However, Illinois State's defense forced the Coyotes backward with a tackle by Shelby Harris for a six-yard loss on a Jeremy Blount carry. South Dakota went for it on fourth-down, but a pass from Warren to Dustin Nowotny was incomplete, allowing the Redbirds to take over on downs at the Coyotes' 25-yard line.

However, Illinois State could not capitalize on the turnover, and South Dakota scored on its next possession. The 16-play, 91-yard drive resulted in a 20-yard field goal by Kevin Robb. The Redbirds had a chance to answer before halftime, but Darrelynn Dunn fumbled at South Dakota's 20-yard line with eight seconds remaining. The Coyotes recovered the loose ball and ran out the clock, making the Redbird halftime advantage 7-3.

Illinois State extended its lead in the third quarter on an eight play, 53-yard drive, including a fourth-down conversion by Leggett for a two-yard gain. The next play resulted in a one-handed touchdown grab by Walker from Brown, and Aussieker's kick made the score 14-3. On the ensuing kickoff, ISU's Eric Smith forced Blount to fumble, and Smith recovered at South Dakota's 26-yard line. Five plays later, Leggett scampered 13 yards for the score. The extra point by Aussieker was good, improving Illinois State's lead to 21-3 with 1:25 remaining in the third quarter.

The Redbirds added to their lead in the fourth quarter with a 13-play, 57-yard play that resulted in a 12-yard rushing touchdown by Leggett and an extra point by Aussieker. Illinois State recovered the ball on the ensuing kickoff, and the Redbirds ran out the clock to secure the victory.

ISU remains at home next Saturday for a 1 p.m. kickoff against No. 21 Indiana State. Tickets are available by calling (309) 438-8000, or by visiting GoRedbirds.com.

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