FCS Championship Playoff
Round 2 Illinois State 24 vs Central Arkansas 14 Recap
By: Matt Anzio
Senior running back & 2020 draft eligible star James Robinson ran wild in this one with 210 yards with two touchdowns. Freshman QB starting in relief of Brady Davis, Bryce Jefferson didn’t do much but also didn’t turn the ball over. 75 yds & no scores on the day for the young buck, a win is a win & sure he will gladly take it.
Scoring started up in the 2nd quarter when Sophomore wide out Austin Nagel for the Redbird’s had an 18 yd score. Followed by a monster 51 yd run from the playmaker James Robinson, putting Illinois state up 14 -0 in the 2nd qt.
Central Arkansas Bears answered with a 17 play 70 yd drive topped off by a short Carlos Blackman 2 yd run for the score.
Central Ark Sophomore QB Breylin Smith had just 1 TD with 3 picks in the game, one to Sophomore DB Charles Woods, Another Soph looking good Devin Taylor had another & big Freshman Clayton Isbell had the other. This secondary has produced some turnovers, some real Hidden Gems on this unit.
The Redbirds fired back with a 7 play 69 yard drive capped with the 2nd Robinson score from 2 yards out. Putting Illinois st up 21-7 in the 2nd qt.
No scoring would take place until the 4th quarter, when Sam Fenalson scored a FG for the Redbirds from 24 yds out.
Central Ark Bears did have a final scoring drive , 8 plays for 61 yds & a short TD pass from Bteylin Smith to Senior TE/ WR Luke Ross to give CAU 14 making it 24-14 Illinois State Redbirds.
After the loss to Youngstown State, wasn’t sure what direction Ill St was headed. This is a convincing win, as they head to face the unstoppable Bison of North Dakota State, next week. That should prove to be the ultimate test, against an NDSU team that has won 7 of the last 8 FCS titles.
Three Missouri Valley Football Conference teams remain in the Redbird’s, Northern Iowa Panthers, of course the Champion Bison.