December 11, 2015

NORMAL, Ill. (AP) Danny Rocco found it difficult to put Jacobi Green's night into words.

But then the Richmond football coach managed to find one. Exceptional.

Green scored four touchdowns and the Spiders amassed 557 yards in a 39-27 victory over No. 2-seeded Illinois State in the Football Championship Subdivision quarterfinals on Friday night.

The No. 7-seeded Spiders (10-3) advance to next weekend's FCS semifinals against either No. 3-seed North Dakota State or Northern Iowa.

''We've had a couple of performances this year that I thought were exceptional performances - and we had one today,'' Rocco said. ''I knew we were capable of playing a game like this on the road.''

Green, who ran for 137 yards, scored on touchdown runs of 28, 27 yards and 2 yards. The senior running back also had a 35-yard touchdown catch from Kyle Lauletta, who threw for 369 yards on 18-of-29 passing for the Spiders.

Green and Lauletta sparked Richmond's offense, which proved to be too much for Illinois State (10-3).

''We knew we were going to have to make plays,'' Lauletta said. ''We just made one more play than them each time.

''It just seemed like we kept making that play we needed to.''

Illinois State got to within five points with 3:23 remaining on backup quarterback Jake Kolbe's 17-yard touchdown run. But Green responded and put the game out of reach with his 28-yard touchdown run with 2:19 remaining.

The Redbirds had their 19-game home winning streak snapped with the loss.

Anthony Warrum, who had 152 receiving yards on nine catches, had a 20-yard touchdown catch and Marshaun Coprich scored a 5-yard touchdown run and a 12-yard touchdown catch for the Redbirds. Illinois State quarterback Tre Roberson threw for 370 yards and two touchdowns.

Despite finishing with 448 offensive yards and going on a second half surge after falling behind 32-14 with 10 minutes remaining, the Redbirds couldn't stop Richmond when it mattered.

''They came out playing way more physical than us,'' Coprich said. ''They just played like they wanted to win. We tried to pick it up in the second half and it was just too late.''

Richmond led 19-7 at the half after Green's 2-yard touchdown run with 16 seconds remaining in the second quarter extended the Spiders' lead to double figures.

Richmond never let up.

''We had a lot of guys make a lot of plays'' Rocco said. ''We knew we would have to do that.''

You May Like