|Redbirds saw down Sycamores for Homecoming win|
|Written by Tony Andracki Daily Vidette Sports Editor|
|Monday, 19 October 2009 11:21|
Illinois State football team members were in a festive mood after Saturday’s Homecoming game, and for good reason.
“It feels great,” senior wide receiver Eyad Salem said. “We didn’t get a win [for Homecoming] last year. You always want to show the people who come out and support us why they should come out.”
After a scoreless first quarter, the Redbird offense woke up, crossing the goal line twice in a span of three minutes. Freshman wide receiver Tyrone Walker started things off by snagging a 28-yard pass from quarterback Matt Brown.
On fourth down of the Sycamores’ ensuing possession, senior defensive lineman Bert Whigham burst through the line to block a punt and recovered the ball at the 13 yard line, setting up a 1-yard touchdown run by running back Geno Blow.
Zach Kutch added a field goal before Indiana State quarterback Ryan Roberts got his team on the board with a 17-yard touchdown trot. The Redbirds responded with a 28-yard scoring strike from Brown to Salem before another 1-yard Blow run in the third quarter pushed the score to 31-7.
Redbird running back Cliffton Gordon pounded the ball in from two yards out in the third quarter and Roberts added another rushing touchdown from six yards out and a 39-yard pass to receiver Bryant Kent to close out the scoring.
“I didn’t particularly like how we finished the game,” ISU head coach Brock Spack said. “But, like I told the players in the locker room, at the Division I level, it’s hard to win.”
The Sycamores’ offense used 218 rushing yards to propel them to their three touchdowns after totaling just one touchdown in the previous four games.
“We showed some flashes, but we were beaten by the better team today,” Indiana State head coach Trent Miles said. “You can’t make the mistakes we made earlier in the game and shoot yourselves in the foot with a blocked punt, a 5-yard punt and a 17-yard punt and illegal chop blocks on the opening drive.
“You can’t go out and self destruct that way against a team that has a lot of confidence from an offensive standpoint.”
Running back Antoine Brown led the way for the Sycamore running game with 102 yards on 17 carries while Roberts totaled 70 yards on his 15 carries.
“It’s just the big plays,” Whigham said. “That’s disappointing. I thought the D-line had some pretty good plays. It was good all around, just that 21, you don’t ever want that. It was a little upsetting.
“Down in the locker room, players were a little upset even though we won and that’s something you really don’t want because wins are hard to come by. But, we’re gonna get it better.”
Brown led the Redbird offense with 243 yards through the air and the two touchdowns to go along with his 37 rushing yards. Blow finished with 64 rushing yards and 14 receiving yards and Salem was once again Brown’s favorite target, totaling nine catches for 133 yards and the score.
The Redbirds have a bye week before hitting the road to take on Missouri State in Springfield, Miss., for an Oct. 31 matchup.