MACOMB, Ill. (AP) Mason Blackemore ran for 170 yards and three touchdowns and Illinois State defeated Western Illinois 34-18 on Saturday in a Missouri Valley Football Conference opener.

Western Illinois scored 10 points in the opening 80 seconds of the fourth quarter to close within 20-18 but Blakemore went 51 yards to score with seven minutes remaining and added a 6-yard TD with 1:17 to go.

The Redbirds stifled the Leathernecks on the ground, holding them to minus-5 yards on 29 attempts. Illinois State outgained Western Illinois 461-194.

The Redbirds (2-0, 1-0) led 13-9 at halftime and extended their lead to 11 points on Cole Muller's 6-yard run in the third quarter.

Zak Annexstad was 18 of 29 for 185 yards passing and a touchdown to Cam Grandy.

Matt Morrissey was 22 of 40 for 199 yards passing with a touchdown in the air and on the ground for the Leathernecks (0-2, 0-1).

--- AP college football: and

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