SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) -- Matt Brown passed for 133 yards and two touchdowns to lead Illinois State to a 24-14 victory over Missouri State Saturday.
The second touchdown came as time in the first half was expiring. Brown scrambled out of the pocket and the freshman threw toward the end zone. Several players tipped the ball before the Redbirds' Brandon Venson caught it for a 38-yard touchdown and a 21-14 Illinois State lead.
The play capped a 17-play, 82-yard drive for the Redbirds (4-4, 3-2 Missouri Valley), and seemed to deflate Missouri State, which did not score in the second half.
Early in the first quarter, Missouri State punter Jordan Chiles missed the ball as he tried to kick and Illinois State recovered on the Missouri State 16. Four plays later, Illinois State scored on a 1-yard run by Geno Blow to lead 7-0.
The Bears (5-4, 3-3) came back to tie it on a 47-yard touchdown pass from Cody Kirby to Jermain Saffold. Brown hit Cody White for a 15-yard score to give the Redbirds the lead again at 14-7, then Cadarriu Dotson hauled in a 28-yard pass from Kirby to tie it again.
The only scoring after halftime came on Zach Kutch's 42-yard field goal with 6:38 remaining for Illinois State.
Clifton Gordon rushed for 122 yards for the Redbirds while Missouri State was held to 31 yards rushing. Kirby finished with 248 yards passing for Missouri State and Antoi Wilkinson had 20 tackles for the Bears.
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