Redbirds drop first Missouri Valley battle to Missouri State

Illinois State dropped their first Missouri Valley Conference contests after defeating Colorado State in Colorado. (WJBC File Photo)

By Illinois State Sports Information

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The Illinois State football team suffered its first loss of the 2018 season Saturday, as the Redbirds (3-1, 0-1 MVFC) dropped a tough road contest to the Missouri State Bears (3-1, 1-0 MVFC) at Plaster Stadium 24-21 in the Missouri Valley Football Conference opener for both squads.

How it Happened:
•    Missouri State scored first on a 42-yard field goal off the foot of Parker Lacina to take a 3-0 with 3:50 to go in the first quarter.
•    Bears quarterback Peyton Huslig later called his own number and bowled into the end zone from five yards out to put Missouri State up 10-0 with 3:24 to go in the first half.
•    Illinois State quarterback Brady Davis found Spencer Schnell in the corner of the end zone on a five-yard touchdown pass for the first score of the third quarter, as the Redbirds cut the deficit to 10-7 with 8:15 to go in the stanza.
•    After a Luther Kirk interception, the Redbirds went back to the same play as Davis completed a four-yard pass to Schnell with 7:04 remaining in the third quarter to take a 14-10 lead over the Bears.
•    Missouri State answered quickly, as Donovan Daniels took the option pitch from five yards out to score and put the Bears back up at 17-14 with 2:57 remaining in the third quarter.
•    The Bears then extended the lead on a Jason Randall one-yard touchdown run to take a 10-point lead at 24-14 with 7:56 remaining in the game.
•    Davis got the Redbirds within a field goal goal, when he found running back James Robinson out of the backfield for a 43-yard touchdown pass, cutting the MSU advantage to 24-21 with 3:15 remaining in the contest.
•    The Redbirds had a chance to tie the game with four seconds left, but Sam Fenlason’s 32-yard field goal was blocked and the Bears came away with the victory.

Game Notes:
•    It was a tale of two halves, as Illinois State mustered only 73 total yards along with three first downs in the first half. The Redbirds finished the game with 368 yards of total offense falling short in the effort.
•    Davis finished the game 20-for-38 with 226 yards and three touchdowns. Jake Kolbe finished the first half for the Redbirds going 2-of-3 for 14 yards.
•    Smith and Robinson carried the football a combined 19 times for 136 yards. The two backs had 80 yards and 56 yards, respectively.
•    Robinson caught six passes for 97 yards and a score. Schnell had five catches for 71 yards with the two touchdowns, and Andrew Edgar and Jordan Birch combined for seven catches and 56 yards.
•    Zackary Mathews led the way defensively for the Redbirds with a career-best 16 tackles, while Mitchell Brees had nine tackles.
•    The Redbirds had three takeaways, as Ty Deforest had a fumble recovery in the first half, Devin Taylor intercepted a pass for the second straight week and Kirk had his second interception of the year.

Up Next:
Illinois State returns home next week to take on longtime in-state foe Western Illinois. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m., and fans can listen to the game on WJBC AM 1230 and on the TuneIn app

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