CHARLESTON, Ill. — James Robinson rushed for 89 yards with a pair of touchdowns and Illinois State took care of longtime in-state rival Eastern Illinois 44-13 on Saturday in the 106th Mid-America Classic.

Robinson had a 22-yard touchdown run in the first quarter and a 1-yard plunge in the second as the Redbirds (2-0) built a 27-6 lead at intermission. Markel Smith added a 57-yard scoring run with just under six minutes before halftime.

Eastern Illinois (1-2) used a 14-play, 80-yard drive, culminated in Scotty Gilkey Jr.’s 3-yard touchdown run, to trim its deficit to 27-13. But ISU responded with Jake Kolbe’s 80-yard touchdown pass to Robert Gillum to re-establish a three-touchdown advantage.

Julian Hess blocked a punt in the first quarter for Eastern Illinois and Mack Weaver took it 15 yards for a touchdown.

Illinois State has won 11 of the last 16 games in the series.


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