BROOKINGS, S.D. — No. 12 Illinois State took advantage of four costly turnovers by No. 4 South Dakota State, as the Redbirds (7-3, 4-2 MVFC) scored 17 unanswered points in the second half to defeat the Jackrabbits (7-3, 4-2 MVFC) 27-18 Saturday afternoon at Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium.
How it happened:
- The Redbirds scored on their opening drive of the game, as they went 86 yards in 10 plays capped off by a 12-yard touchdown pass from Brady Davis to Tristan Bailey.
- SDSU kicker Cole Frahm connected on his first field goal of the season from 43 yards out to trim the ISU lead to 7-3 with 2:18 left in the first quarter.
- Early in the second quarter, a penalty by the Redbirds committed in the end zone resulted in a safety for the Jackrabbits and the ISU lead was cut to 7-5 with 12:46 left in the quarter.
- The Jacks then took the lead on a 21-yard pass from Keaton Heide to Adam Anderson at the 8:47 mark. They went for two, but the attempt was foiled by Christian Uphoff to keep the score at 11-7 in favor of SDSU.
- A 33-yard field goal by Sam Fenlason with four seconds remaining in the half cut the SDSU lead to 11-10 at halftime.
- The Jacks extended their lead to 18-10 midway through the third quarter on a 4-yard touchdown run by Pierre Strong Jr., that capped off a drive that lasted over 5 minutes.
- A 32-yard field goal by Fenlason cut into the SDSU lead late in the third quarter, making the score 18-13.
- After an interception by Uphoff, Fenlason connected on his third field goal of the contest at the 12:53 mark of the fourth quarter to cut it to 18-16.
- Another turnover by the Jacks on a fumble on the kickoff return forced by Peyton Jones set up a 1-yard touchdown run by James Robinson. That gave the Redbirds the lead. A 2-point conversion from Davis to Drew Himmelman gave the Redbirds the lead at 24-18 with 9:17 to play.
- Fenlason capped off the victory with a career-long 46-yard field goal with 6:33 left to bring the score to its final at 27-18.
FCS COMMITTEE RANKINGS: North Dakota State is No. 1 in first top-10 committee rankings
- The reception and touchdown by Bailey in the first quarter were the first of his Redbird career.
- The four field goals by Fenlason tied a career best, and his 46-yard make was a career-long.
- Dylan Draka led the way for the Redbirds with three tackles-for-loss, with a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries in the victory for the Redbirds.
- ISU improves to 4-1 on the road this season, with four straight wins.
- The win over a ranked foe was the first for ISU since defeating No. 21 Youngstown State on Oct. 28, 2017.
- It was also ISU's first win over the Jackrabbits in Brookings since 2010.
Illinois State will host Missouri State next Saturday on Senior Day at Hancock Stadium, with kickoff set for noon.