Macomb –The Leatherneck’s most traditional football rivalry added another chapter on Saturday, Oct. 19 in a 28-14 decision that went to Illinois State. Both teams have been playing against each other since the year 1904.
During this traditional match-up, the Redbirds brought the intensity to Macomb's Hanson field. They capitalized on a lot of takeaways and forced fumbles from the Fighting Leathernecks. The Redbirds were able to post seven on the board on their very first possession, which led them the rest of the way.
Head coach Jared Elliott said "I thought our kids handled it well. Going into the game, we put a lot on our guys in three days, and they handled it well, so credit to our players. Our offensive staff did a really good job. It worked enough to move the ball, but it didn't work enough to win. We can't turn the ball over, and we have to finish drives".
The Redbirds went into halftime with a 14-0 lead before the Leathernecks turned the game around in a 14-play, 80-yard scoring drive. The third-quarter performance ended with DeShon Gavin's first career touchdown (3:34) and marked Western's second trip to the red zone.
The team had an opportunity to enter halftime down one-possession, but an interception at the Illinois State two-yard line started their momentum back up. Back-to-back touchdowns in the final 15 minutes put Illinois State up, 28-7, with 10:58 remaining, and George Wahee notched the final Leatherneck score on a four-yard reception (5:57). The Leathernecks remaining scoreless during the 2nd half put them in a deep hole which made it a lot harder to come back.
The Leathernecks have yet to win a game. They still have a chance to finish out the rest of the season strong. Their next matchup will be against Missouri Valley Football taking place at Youngstown State. The game is scheduled for Saturday at 1 p.m. You can find the original story at goleathernecks.com