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Redbird football falls to Leathernecks

Redbird football falls to Leathernecks

The Redbirds were led by junior Quarterback Jake Kolbe who passed for 233-yards. (Photo courtesy File/WZND)

NORMAL – The Illinois State Football team fell to the Western Illinois Leathernecks 31-14 Saturday afternoon at Hancock Stadium.

The Redbirds started off strong in the first half but couldn’t amount to much on both sides of the ball in the second half. Junior Quarterback Jake Kolbe (19-34, 233-yards) led the offense to two first half touchdowns but failed to score in the entire second half.

Kolbe started the scoring with a 65-yard pass to WR Christian Gibbs near the end of the first quarter. Gibbs’s performance was one of the only shining moments as he ended up surpassing over 100-yards with on the day with a total of 113.  With 6:43 left in the 2nd quarter, Kolbe found Tight End Tylor Petkovich for a 4 yard pass score. The score was Petkovich’s first touchdown of the season.

As soon as the 3rd quarter began, the tide shifted as each and every score thereon after would come from the Leathernecks. Leading the way for Western Illinois was quarterback Sean McGuire (19-30, 288-yards) who threw for two scores and also ran for 25-yards.

Kolbe said the second half performance was a let down for the team as a whole.

“We got outplayed, there’s really no other way to say it…we didn’t execute, we didn’t do anything right,” said Kolbe.

One of the momentum shifting moments was when ISU tried to execute a fake punt down 17-14 but failed. The next play, McGuire found Wide Receiver Clint Ratkovich for a 27-yard score. Coach Brock Spack offered his reasoning for drawing that type of play.

“I felt at that point of the game we had lost some momentum…we were struggling on defense and they had way too much success on the ground. We tried to make a momentum play. That was the thought process behind it,” said Spack.

On the ensuing kickoff, ISU Running back Markel Smith was the recipient of a gruesome tackle that knocked him out of the game. He ended up walking to the sidelines under his own power and looked to be okay.

Spack and the team will try and bounce back next weekend when they travel to South Dakota State.

Nick Sadowski contributed to this story. 

Nick Sadowski

November 5th, 2017

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