Redbird Football Defeats Murray State 44-7
Written by Gavin Broderick on November 11, 2023
NORMAL, Ill- The Illinois State Football team defeated the Murray State Racers 44-7 in their last home game of the season.
Going into the game, redbird quarterback Zach Annexsted was ruled out for his final home game of the season. Leaving Sophomore Tommy Rittenhouse to step up as the starting quarterback.
The opening drive for the Redbirds saw a touchdown in only 5 plays. With Mason Blakemore making a 33 yard run. He would go on to score three times throughout the game.
The Racers wouldn’t roll over though, they struck back with a run up the middle from Jawaun Northington. Putting the score for the 1st quarter at 7-7.
Blakemore wouldn’t stop there. The next time the redbird’s had the ball, Blakemore would run 35 yards for another touchdown. Making the score 14-7 in the first quarter.
Heading into the 2nd quarter, Tommy Rittenhouse would rush into the endzone for a touchdown The extra point was missed, making the score at the half 20-7.
The Racers ended up with the ball to start the half, but through an interception Amir Abdullah. The Redbirds ended that drive with a field goal after some costly penalties prevented them from entering the endzone.
The Redbird Defense didn’t stop there. The Racers threw another interception to Lavoise-Deontae McCoy.
Cole Mueller, who had no carries in the first half. Came out swinging with a 60 yard rush to put the redbirds at 30-7
The Defense continued their momentum and had three sacks in a row, forcing the Racers deep into their own territories for a punt.
Mason Blakemore ended that drive with his third touchdown for the game, Blakemore ended the game with 169 yards and three touchdowns.
The fourth quarter started with the third and final interception to Jacob Bellizi. The Redbird ended that drive to a touchdown pass to Daniel Sobkowicz.
It was in the fourth quarter that the most dramatic moment of the game occurred. Racer quarterback DJ Williams was hit on a rush. He stayed down and seemed unable to move. EMT’s and and ambulance was called, where he was carried off the field to a hospital.
Both teams were reverent to the fallen player, and simply ran the ball up the middle until the game ended.
The Redbirds Defense ended the game with three interceptions and three sacks.
The Redbird Offense had 165 passing yards and 345 rushing yards that culminated in six touchdowns and a field goal.
The final score was 44-7. The Redbirds look to face the North Dakota Fighting Hawks on November 18th. The winner of that game will move on to the playoffs.