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In the final game of the day in Harrisonburg, Va., Illinois State came out victorious, 36-15, in a feisty encounter with Kent State.
From the get go, Illinois State established a physical presence. The Redbirds spent the first five minutes knocking on Kent State's door and finally went over in the corner to take a 5-0 lead.
Kent State responded immediately with a long run down the left wing. After an offload, a Golden Flash forward used some nifty footwork down the left sideline to tie up the score.
Momentum the rest of the half went back and forth until Illinois State was able to capitalize on several of the numerous Kent State penalties. After scoring a hard-earned try, Illinois State was kicking for touch following a Kent State penalty. The kick failed to reach touch but the Kent State players let the ball bounce several times. It took an odd hop right into the hands of an oncoming Redbird winger who dotted it down right next to the posts.
Coming right before half, the third Illinois State try was the turning point in the game. Illinois State added several more tries after the break and forced Kent State to chase points the rest of the way. Kent State managed to dot down twice more, but it was too little, too late.
Penalties and poorly executed kicks hampered Kent State all afternoon. In the final 20 minutes of the match, the referee issued two Kent State players yellow cards for repeated infringements. In total, three Golden Flashes spent time in the Sin Bin.
Illinois State will take on James Madison Sunday for the right to go to Furman University for the 2013 D2 Final Four. The game kicks off at 3:15 ET.
Illinois State: 36
Tries: Allen, Rumph, Graf, Lancor, Wilcosky, Barrett
Cons: Barrett (2), Smith
Kent State: 15
Tries: Howard, Konezyg, Meyer