Davis helps Redbirds secure 107th Mid-America Classic

Powerful first half offense helped Illinois State coach Brock Spack secure the 107th Mid-America Classic for the second straight season.
(Photo courtesy: WJBC/file)

By Illinois State Sports Information

NORMAL – The Illinois State offense proved it was too much for Eastern Illinois in the 107th Mid-America Classic, as the Redbirds (2-0) retained the travelling trophy and defeated the Panthers (0-2) by a score of 48-10 Saturday night at Hancock Stadium.

How it Happened:
•    The Redbirds got on the board first, as Brady Davisfound Andrew Edgar on the reception that put the Redbirds up 7-0 late in the first quarter.
•    On 4th and goal, Davis called his own number and ran into the end zone to put the Redbirds up 14-0 with 11:35 to go in the first half.
•    After the Redbirds stopped the Panthers on 4th down, Davis went to the air on the very next play as he hit Spencer Schnell for a 97-yard touchdown, as the Redbirds widened the lead to 21-0 with 8:25 remaining in the first half.
•    Davis found Schnell once again before the half, as the two connected for a 33-yard pitch and catch to put the Redbirds up 28-0 at halftime.
•    Sam Fenlason got the first points on the board in the second half, as he drilled a 37-yard field goal to make the score 31-0 with 10:50 to go in the third quarter.
•    Eastern Illinois finally got on the board, when kicker Matt Severino made a 39-yard field goal to make the score 31-3 with 8:26 left in the third.
•    Davis continued the aerial attack, as he found Robert Gillum in the back of the end zone for his fourth passing touchdown of the game as Illinois State led Eastern Illinois 38-3 with 5:48 remaining in the third.
•    Panthers’ running back Jamal Scott hurdled into the end zone for a six-yard touchdown run that made the score 38-10 in favor of the Redbirds after three quarters.
•    James Robinson scored in the fourth quarter for the Redbirds, as he ran into the end zone making it 45-10 with 12:21 remaining in the game.
•    Fenlason connected on a 38-yard field goal to make the final score 48-10.

Game Notes:
•    The 38-point margin of victory was the Redbirds’ largest in the series since 1992, when ISU defeated EIU, 48-7, at Hancock Stadium.
•    With the win, ISU improved its lead in the all-time series to 56-42-9 overall.
•    The Redbird offense outgained the Panthers 582 to 356 on the night, including 254 yards on the ground.
•    Davis finished the game 17-of-23 for 317 yards with four touchdowns through the air … Davis also carried the ball four times for 14 yards and a touchdown to account for five total in the victory.
•    Robinson and Markel Smith were the primary backs for the Redbirds as the two combined for 30 carries on 239 yards including a six-yard touchdown run by Robinson … Robinson finished night with 153 yards on 15 carries including 67 yards on the fourth-quarter scoring drive.
•    Three different receivers caught touchdown passes from Davis as Schnell (2), Edgar, and Gillum all scored. Schnell caught eight balls for 174 yards, including the 97-yard connection that tied the second-longest touchdown pass in school history.
•    Braxton HaleyAustin Nagel and Tylor Petkovich combined for five catches on 69 yards.
•    The Illinois State defense combined for six tackles-for-losses as Zackary Mathews and DeMarco Washington each had eight tackles including one for a loss.
•    For the second straight week, linebacker Ty DeForest had an interception leading to the first field goal of the game.

Up Next:
Illinois State (2-0) is on a bye next week, before returning to action Sept. 22 when the Redbirds travel to Fort Collins, Colorado, to face FBS foe Colorado State. Kickoff is set for 2:00 p.m. from Canvas Stadium, and fans can listen to the game on WJBC AM 1230 and on the TuneIn app.

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