#24 Western Illinois Rolls Past Illinois State, 65-38
Oct. 30, 2010
MACOMB, Ill. - Erik Smith and Tyrone Walker each tallied career-best performances in Saturday's game against Western Illinois (6-3, 4-2 MVFC), but the Illinois State football team (4-5, 3-4 MVFC) was not able to capitalize on Smith and Walker's performances and fell to the Leathernecks, 65-38, in Macomb, Ill.
Walker caught nine passes for a career-high 178 yards and hauled in two touchdown passes, marking his second-straight game with 100-plus yards receiving for the Redbirds. Smith rushed for two touchdowns, the first two of his career at ISU, and finished the game with 58 yards rushing while Matt Brown was stellar going 20-for-31 for 319 yards and three touchdowns. Josh Howe led the way on defense with 13 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss. WIU quarterback Matt Barr finished the game with 452 yards passing, thanks to a 22-for-25 effort, and threw six touchdown passes while running for another to finish the game with seven total touchdowns.
In Western Illinois' second possession of the game, the Leathernecks got on the board when quarterback Barr connected with Terriun Crump on a five-yard pass play giving WIU a 7-0 lead with 9:15 left in the first quarter. ISU answered WIU's touchdown with six points of its own, after Smith got into the end zone on a one-yard carry. Smith's rushing touchdown was the first of his career as a Redbird and tied the game, 7-7, with 4:47 left in the first quarter. With just over a minute left in the first, Barr found Drew Helt on an 18-yard touchdown pass giving WIU a seven-point lead at 14-7.
Steven Fetzer hit a 29-yard field goal 45 seconds into the second quarter to cut Western Illinois' lead by four points, 14-10. The Leathernecks responded with a 70-yard touchdown pass from Barr to Lito Senatus, increasing WIU's lead 21-10. Illinois State got back within four points of Western Illinois with 58-yard touchdown pass from Brown to Walker with 9:38 left in the first half to make the score 21-17.
The last six minutes of the second quarter belonged to Western Illinois, as Barr found Helt for the second time in the game with a 22-yard touchdown pass lengthening WIU's lead 28-17. With just under two minutes left in the first half, Barr ran for a 38-yard touchdown giving the Leathernecks a 35-17 advantage heading into the locker room at the half.
Cameron Hunt started the half with a 55-yard kickoff return and set the Redbirds up for their third touchdown of the game. Smith recorded a three-yard rushing touchdown four minutes into the quarter to cut Western Illinois' lead 35-24. However, the Leathernecks' strong offensive performance continued into its first play of the third quarter, when Barr found Crump on a 74-yard touchdown to lengthen the Leathernecks' lead to 42-24. Bryce Flowers then recorded a four-yard touchdown run with just under three minutes left in the third quarter to give WIU a 49-24 lead.
Within the first minute of the fourth quarter, Western Illinois and Illinois State each put points on the board. Senatus scored a Leatherneck touchdown on a 12-yard reverse increasing WIU's lead 56-24. However, Walker grabbed a 31-yard touchdown pass from Brown on the next series making the score 56-31. Senatus kept Western Illinois' record setting offensive performance alive with a 43-yard touchdown reception from Barr to lengthen WIU's lead by 32 points, 63-31. The Redbirds did not go away easily, though, as With Brown found Marcus King in the end zone for a 45-yard pass play for a Redbird touchdown ending the game with a score of 65-38.
Illinois State will return home to Hancock Stadium to host Youngstown State Saturday, Nov. 6, for Family Weekend. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.
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