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Redbirds Stay Hot in Mid-America Classic Victory

Redbirds Stay Hot in Mid-America Classic Victory

Safety Mitchell Brees makes his pre-snap reads. (Photo courtesy of Kaitlyn Mayer/WZND)

NORMAL – In one of the oldest rivalries in all of FCS football, the Illinois State Redbirds played host to Eastern Illinois University for the 107th installment of the Mid-America Classic. The Redbirds put on dominant performances on both sides of the ball to retain the Mid-America classic trophy, beating the Eastern Illinois Panthers by a score of 48-10.

ISU put on a show on the offensive side of the ball. Quarterback Brady Davis led the ‘Birds, throwing for 317 yards and 5 touchdowns. Davis connected with receiver Andrew Edgar from 42 yards out to open up the scoring late in the first quarter. “Edgar ran a great route,” said Davis. “To be able to throw 42 yards into the wind and connect for the score really got us going.”

The Redbird offense carried their momentum straight into the second quarter. Brady Davis capped off a 7 play 80 yard drive with a 3 yard run into the end zone early on in the second quarter. The Redbirds then took to the air once again as Davis connected with Spencer Schnell for a 97 yard touchdown.

“I saw Brady throw a good ball over the top,” said Schnell. “Once I got the ball I just thought lets out run this guy and get into the end zone.” Davis and Schnell connected yet again late in the second for another touchdown, this time from 33 yards out and the Redbirds went into half time leading 28-0.

Three defensive snaps into the second half, linebacker Ty DeForest intercepted an EIU pass to give the offense great field position. The offense the took advantage, notching a field goal to take a 31-0 lead. EIU finally was able to put points on the board soon after, kicking a 39-yard field goal – marking the first points of the season allowed by the Redbird defense. Previously, the Redbirds had gone three full halves of football without allowing any points.

With about 5 minutes left to play in the third quarter, Brady Davis connected with tight end Robert Gillum for his fourth touchdown pass of the game, giving the ‘Birds a 38-3 lead. After an EIU touchdown brought the score to 38-10, running back James Robinson punched his way into the end zone for his second touchdown of the season, giving the Redbirds a 45-10 lead. The Redbirds tacked on another field goal in garbage time, bolstering their lead to 48-10.

The Redbirds have a week off before traveling out west to face their toughest challenge yet, Colorado State. ISU now holds the best record in the Missouri Valley Football Conference, sitting at 2-0 after two convincing wins over St. Xavier and Eastern Illinois.

Hector Carrion contributed to this story.

Hector Carrion

September 9th, 2018

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