Explosive First Half Leads Redbirds to 55-14 Win Over Sycamores
Oct. 19, 2013
NORMAL, Ill. - Illinois State (3-4, 2-2 MVFC) scored more points in the first 25 minutes than it had in an entire game all season, as a 38-point first-half paved the way for a 55-14 victory over Indiana State (1-6, 0-3 MVFC) Saturday afternoon at Hancock Stadium.
The Redbirds racked up a season-high 475 yards of total offense, mounting a balanced attack that featured 260 yards on the ground and 215 through the air. Marshaun Coprich posted over 100 yards rushing for the third-consecutive game, totaling a career-high 137 yards on 18 carries. He also equaled his career-high with three touchdowns, giving him a team-leading seven on the season.
Illinois State was equally efficient through the air, as Blake Winkler went 10-15 for 215 yards and two touchdowns. Anthony Warrum was on the receiving end of three of those completions and totaled a Redbird freshman-record 145 yards and a touchdown.
Defensively, the Redbirds limited the Sycamores to only 174 yards, while also tallying seven sacks and forcing two turnovers. Pat Meehan (11), Alex Donnelly (10) and Brandon Westphal (10) all posted career-highs in tackles and All-American Colton Underwood tallied two sacks in the victory, his second and third of the season.
After the Redbird defense forced the Sycamores to punt on the first possession of the game, the Redbirds struck first with an eight-play, 64-yard scoring drive that covered 3:50. On the second play of the drive, Phil Dudley rushed for a career-long 40 yards down to the Indiana State 21-yard line. Six plays later, Coprich bowled from one yard out to give the Redbirds a 7-0 lead with 8:23 left in the first quarter.
The Redbird defense forced a three-and-out on Indiana State's next possession to set up the second touchdown of the game. A 33-yard pass from Winkler to Warrum down the right sideline led to a 19-yard touchdown run for Dudley around the right side to make it 14-0 in favor of the Redbirds at the 5:28 mark of the first quarter.
On the second play of the Sycamores' next possession, Dontae McCoy sacked Sycamore quarterback Robert Tonyan, Jr., forcing a fumble that was recovered by Underwood to set the Redbird offense up at Indiana State's 12-yard line. On the first play of the drive, Winkler found Cameron Meredith in the left corner of the end zone for a 12-yard touchdown pass that extended ILS' lead to 21-0 with 4:38 left in the first quarter.
Following another three-and-out, the Redbirds added to their advantage on a 25-yard field goal by Nick Aussieker with 52 second left in the first quarter. The field goal was set up by a 62-yard completion from Winkler to Warrum down the middle of the field, the longest reception of the freshman's career.
Winkler and Warrum connected for a big play again on the Redbirds' next possession, this time for a 50-yard touchdown, which made it 31-0 ILS with 13:49 left in the second quarter. The Redbird offense took a more methodical approach on its next scoring drive, putting together a nine-play, 65-yard scoring drive that spanned 5:12. On a third-and-one from the four yard line, Coprich bounced a run to the outside, stiff armed a defender and snuck inside the right pylon for his second touchdown of the game and a 38-0 ILS lead with 5:27 left in the second quarter.
Illinois State kept its foot on the accelerator to begin the second half, as Josh Burch returned the opening kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown. Burch became the fifth player in program-history to return a kick 100 yards, putting the Redbirds up 45-0 with 14:45 left in the third quarter.
The Sycamores got on the board late in the third quarter, when Tonyan, Jr., rushed in from five yards out to cap a 10-play 68-yard scoring drive that made it 45-7. Illinois State responded on its next drive, when Coprich ran up the right sideline for a career-long 72-yard touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter that extended the Redbirds' lead to 52-7.
On Indiana State's next drive, the Redbird defense put the offense in good position yet again with its second fumble recovery. David Perkins forced a fumble with a sack of Tonyan, Jr., that was recovered by Underwood on the INS 16. Aussieker drilled his second field goal of the game, this one from 21 yards out, to make it 55-7 Redbirds with 10:22 left.
The Sycamores tacked on another touchdown with 7:58 left to round out the scoring.
The Redbirds are home again next week for the second of a three-game home stand, as they welcome in South Dakota to Hancock Stadium for a 1 p.m., kickoff.
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