NORMAL, Ill. (AP) Mitch Kimble passed for 108 yards and two touchdowns and Eastern Illinois capitalized on three turnovers to hold off Illinois State 24-21 on Saturday in the 105th Mid-America Classic.
The Panthers (2-1) took a 24-7 lead early in the fourth quarter on Devin Church's 30-yard TD run. The Redbirds replied with a 58-yard scoring run by Jake Kolbe and a 2-yard TD catch by Spencer Schnell with 36 seconds left. But the Redbirds didn't recover the onside kick.
The Redbirds couldn't overcome miscues and a missed field goal that led 10 first-half points for the Panthers.
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Vince Spiller recovered a fumble by Illinois State's Jamal Towns, setting up Nick Bruno's 42-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead. Te Stone-Davis intercepted a pass by Kolbe in the second quarter, and Kimble hit Addison Bounds on a 4-yard touchdown pass four plays later.
The Redbirds (2-1) scored in the third quarter on Kolbe's 16-yard TD pass to Christian Gibbs, but Kimble replied with a 34-yard TD strike to Ben Odugbesan on the next Eastern Illinois possession.