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Despite 4 Turnovers, The Redbirds Offense Soars in Home Opener

Written by on September 8, 2019

Redbird Football wins their 11th straight Home Opener (Photo courtesy Anthony Ferretti/WZND).

NORMAL – An explosive first half propelled the Redbirds to a 42-14 victory over Morehead State, improving their record to 1-1 on the season.

An offensive explosion in the first half and 4-down defense helped the Redbirds win their 11th straight home opener.

The Redbirds got the offense moving on their opening possession, when Brady Davis’ first play from scrimmage was a 46-yard pass to Taylor Grimes, moving the ball into Eagle territory. A few plays later, James Robinson found his way into the end zone to give the Redbirds an early 7-0 lead.

Three plays into the Eagles opening drive, Tuvone Clark picked off Quarterback Mark Pappas, returning the ball for a touchdown. Clark remained untouched on his way to giving ISU a 14-0 lead.

“Obviously a great way to start the game,” said Coach Spack. “I thought that kind of set the tone for the game.”

With 8:07 remaining in the opening quarter, the Redbirds survived a scare on special teams. A Taylor Grimes muffed punt allowed Morehead State to set up on the ISU 14-yard line. The Redbird defense stepped up once again, forcing the Eagles to turn the ball over on downs.

Brady Davis showed off the legs with 3:09 remaining in the 1st, when he found the end zone for a 52-yard touchdown run.

“I don’t think I’ve ever done that. That’s always something that I’ve always wanted to do,” said Davis. “Not really surprised myself but when I cut inside that first guy that had a chance to tackle me, I saw the endzone…It was good to find the paint.”

ISU ended the quarter up 21-0, rushing for 111 yards and 75 yards through the air.

The Redbird Offense looked to add another score early, but Mario Convenuto intercepted Davis. Once again, the Redbird defense came up with a huge stop, forcing Morehead State to punt from their own endzone.

Within the span of 2 minutes, ISU’s offense was able to punch the ball into the end zone twice. Davis found Andrew Edgar in the corner of the endzone, and on their next possession, Robinson scored his second touchdown of the game with a 34-yard run. Clayton Isbell added an interception late in the 2nd quarter and the Redbirds lead 35-0 at the half.

The ISU offense cooled off out of the locker room as the Redbirds were unable to add to their lead in the 3rd. C.J. Austin picked off Davis for the second time. The shutout came to and end shortly after, as Mark Pappas connected with Jacob Peters on 4th and goal.

James Robinson put an exclamation point on his night with his 3rd touchdown of the game and the Redbirds led 42-7 early in the 4th.

Morehead State got another touchdown off an ISU turnover halfway through the 4th, but it was too little too late. The Redbirds pick up their first win of the season, 42-14.

James Robinson led the way with 23 rushes for 178 yards and 3 touchdowns

The Redbirds will head down state to face the Eastern Illinois Panthers in the 108th installment of the Mid-America Classic Saturday afternoon at two.