Eastern puts up 51 on Illinois State, advances to FCS Semifinals

Published On: Dec 08 2012 08:31:32 PM PST   Updated On: Dec 08 2012 08:59:32 PM PST
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Cheney, WA -

Kyle Padron threw a school-record-tying six touchdown passes, including two to Brandon Kaufman on back-to-back plays early in the third quarter, to lift second-seeded Eastern Washington to a 51-35 win over Illinois State in the quarterfinals of the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs Saturday evening.

With a 24-17 lead at the half, Padron dropped a perfect pass into Kaufman's hands at the goal line. Ronnie Hamlin intercepted ISU quarterback Matt Brown on the next play, setting up Padron's 17-yard strike to Kaufman in the back right corner of the end zone for a 38-17 lead at the 11:01 mark.

Padron completed 19 of 33 passes for 358 yards. Kaufman added a clutch 76-yard catch-and-run early in the fourth quarter after the Redbirds (9-4) had scored 18 straight points to close within 38-35.

The Eagles (11-2), the national champions two seasons ago, host Sam Houston State in a semifinal next weekend.