Illinois State beats Southeast Missouri State in FCS playoffs

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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. — James Robinson rushed for 297 yards on 41 carries — both career highs — and Illinois State beat Southeast Missouri 24-6 on Saturday in a first-round FCS playoff game.

The Redbirds (9-4), who finished in a three-way tie for third in the Missouri Valley Conference, advance to play at No. 8 seed Central Arkansas next Saturday.

Robinson’s previous highs were 256 yards and 29 carries. He scored on an 11-yard run in the first quarter and the Redbirds led the rest of the way, taking a 21-3 halftime lead on a 16-yard run by Bryce Jefferson and a 33-yard pass from Jefferson to Andrew Edgar with 1:25 left in the second quarter.

Joe Pyle started in place of banged-up SEMO quarterback Daniel Santacaterina and threw for 124 yards. Santacaterina, dealing with foot and shoulder injuries, came in during the third quarter but threw for only 81 yards with two interceptions.

SEMO (9-4) had a six-game winning streak snapped.

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