Everything that has gone wrong for the Illinois State football team (4-4, 3-2 MVFC) on the road this season has gone right at home. The latest contest against the South Dakota Coyote’s (4-4, 3-2 MVFC) did not prove to be any different, as the ’Birds controlled the game and improved their home record to 4-0 on the season with a 28-14 win Saturday at Hancock Stadium in Normal.
Sophomore running back Marshaun Coprich continued to show growth at his position, despite being stopped for a loss several times, he still managed to rush for over 100 yards for the fourth week in a row.The Redbirds were the first to get on the board with a 33-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Blake Winkler to wide receiver Corey Shandrick, 7-0. It was Shandrick’s first touchdown reception of the year.
The Coyote’s answered back on their next possession with a scoring-drive capped off by a 22-yard carry by Jordan Roberts, 7-7.
ISU regained the lead on a 43-yard touchdown pass from Winkler to Phil Dudley – who corralled in the fingertip catch. A couple minutes later, Winkler connected a 35-yard pass to Scott Kuehn for the first touchdown reception of his career. Redbirds led Coyote’s 21-7 with 9:04 remaining in the first half.
The second half started well for the Redbirds. With just under 9 minutes remaining in the third quarter Illinois State cornerback Matt Goldsmith forced a fumble and recovered it too, to give the offense good field position.
On the first play of the next drive for the offense, Coprich ran-in for a 27-yard touchdown, 28-7.
The Coyote’s got back on the board on a two-yard touchdown pass from Kevin Earl to Terrance Terry. The Redbirds still led, 28-14, with 13:18 remaining in the game.
ISU was able to thwart off South Dakota’s last couple of efforts at the end zone and was able to hold on for the 28-14 victory.