Redbirds Stay Undefeated On Road, Beat Indiana State 17-10
Nov. 3, 2012
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - No. 15 Illinois State (8-2, 5-2 MVFC) jumped out to a 17-0 lead and held off a late Indiana State (7-3, 5-2 MVFC) surge, as the Redbirds topped the No. 14 ranked Sycamores, 17-10, in front of 6,008 at Memorial Stadium Saturday afternoon in Terre Haute, Ind. The victory secured a perfect road record for Illinois State, which finished the regular season 5-0 away from Hancock Stadium.
For the second-consecutive week, the Illinois State defense forced multiple takeaways, as Ben Ericksen and Shelby Harris each recorded an interception. The Redbirds now have 15 interceptions this year, the most for an Illinois State team since 1993. Mike Banks registered a career-high 10 tackles to lead the Redbirds, while Evan Frierson and Austin Davis each had a sack. Indiana State senior running back Shakir Bell, who came into the contest averaging over 145 yards-per-game, was limited to just 115 yards on 22 carries and did not score.
Matt Brown paced the Illinois State offense, completing 12-of-23 passes for 179 yards and one touchdown. Tyrone Walker led all receivers with seven receptions for 120 yards and caught the lone touchdown pass from Brown. His third-quarter scoring reception gave the senior wide out 29 in his career, which tied him with Laurént Robinson for the most career touchdown receptions in Illinois State football history.
After a scoreless, penalty-free opening half by both teams, Illinois State scored first on a 36-yard field goal from Nick Aussieker midway through the third quarter. It capped a 12-play, 56-yard drive that was set up by a seven-yard dash from Brown on third-and-long. After the field goal, the Illinois State defense responded with a quick three-and-out, giving the offense the ball first-and-ten from their own 35-yard line. Brown's first pass attempt went 11 yards to Lechein Neblett, before he found Walker for a 34-yard reception down the right sideline. Five plays later, Brown connected with Walker on a four-yard touchdown reception, giving the Redbirds a 10-0 lead with 4:01 to play in the third quarter.
Indiana State's next two possessions would end in sacks, before Perish was intercepted by Ericksen at midfield. After Illinois State was forced to punt, the Sycamores' first play was intercepted by Shelby Harris, the first career interception for the junior defensive lineman. The Redbirds needed just two plays to find the end zone, as Darrelynn Dunn covered 16 yards on the first play before scoring on a three-yard dash, making it 17-0 Illinois State. The senior running back finished the game with 100 yards on 30 carries, marking the fifth time this season he has tallied 100-plus yards in a game.
Indiana State got on the board after a 10-play, 75-yard drive that ended in a six-yard touchdown pass from Perish to Michael Mardis. The Sycamores benefitted from a 15-yard roughing the punter penalty before finding the endzone, making it 17-7 Illinois State. After recovering the onside kick, Tanner Fritschle netted a 35-yard field goal, making it 17-10 Illinois State. The Sycamores attempted another onside kick, but committed an offside penalty on the ensuing kickoff, allowing Brown to kneel out the victory.
Illinois State will have a bye week next weekend and then return to play Saturday, Nov. 17, for the regular season finale versus Missouri Valley Football Conference foe and defending FCS national champion No. 1 North Dakota State. Kickoff is slated for noon at Hancock Stadium.
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