Illinois State Secures 35-21 Homecoming Win Over Western Illinois
Oct. 5, 2013
NORMAL, Ill. - Western Illinois scored a season-high 21 points in the third quarter to tie the game against Illinois State at 21-21, but the Redbirds (2-3, 1-1 MVC) rallied with 14 un-answered fourth-quarter points to come away with a 35-21 win over the Fighting Leathernecks (3-3, 1-1 MVFC) on Homecoming Saturday at Hancock Stadium.
The Redbirds improved to 2-0 at home in 2013 and have now won three-consecutive games versus the Leathernecks. Tied, 21-21, in the fourth quarter, freshman quarterback Blake Winkler capped a six-play, 72-yard drive with a 14-yard touchdown pass to Milton Colbert with 8:20 to play. Five minutes later, Marshaun Coprich scampered 24 yards for a touchdown, capping the scoring and securing Illinois State's win.
Coprich had a career-day, setting personal-bests in carries (24), yards (124) and touchdowns (3) as the Redbirds compiled a season-high 185 rushing yards. Winkler finished 20-for-29 for 234 yards with two touchdowns and zero interceptions. Seven different receivers made receptions, with senior Phil Dudley leading the way with six catches for 73 yards. Colbert and Chick Chatham each had one touchdown reception and Jamal Towns tallied a career-best five receptions for 26 yards.
Illinois State jumped to a 14-0 lead in the second quarter, scoring on a four-yard pass from Winkler to Chatham and later on a one-yard run from Coprich as he jumped over the pile at the goal line. The Illinois State defense blanked Western Illinois in the opening half, limiting the Leathernecks to just 36 yards of total offense.
Western Illinois cut the Illinois State deficit to seven early in the third quarter, scoring on a 42-yard pass from Trenton Norvell to Joey Borsellino with 14:38 to play in the third quarter. The Redbirds added a touchdown on their next possession, marching 74 yards over seven plays to find the end zone. Coprich opened the drive with a 13-yard scamper for a first down, and Winkler followed with long pass completions to Brian Athey and Chatham. After an 11-yard completion to Dudley, Coprich needed two carries to cover nine yards and give Illinois State a 21-7 lead.
The Leathernecks then added two scores within two minutes, notching touchdowns on 21-yard and 13-yard touchdown passes to make it 21-21 with 5:42 to play in the third quarter. Western Illinois had possession of the football with 12:47 to play in the fourth quarter, but Prate's diving, first down-saving tackle forced a punt, setting up Illinois State's game-winning drive.
Saturday's Homecoming crowd of 11,529 marks two-consecutive games in which Illinois State has drawn more than 11,000 fans at the newly renovated Hancock Stadium. The victory also marked the 30th career win for fifth-year head coach Brock Spack.
The Redbirds return to action next week, with a road contest at Youngstown State. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m., and the game can be seen live on Comcast SportsNet Chicago Plus.
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