Illinois St. scored 15 unanswered points in the fourth quarter as the fifth-seeded Redbirds rallied for a 21-18 win over top-seeded New Hampshire in the FCS semifinals on Saturday.
Tre Roberson scored on a 47-yard run midway through the fourth quarter to give Illinois State (13-1) the lead and Jon-Marc Anderson ran in the two-point conversion.
Roberson was 2-for-2 on third-down conversions during the drive and capped it off with the big run. The defense held after that and the Redbirds punched their ticket to the FCS Championship against No. 2 North Dakota State, the three-time defending champion and Missouri Conference rival, on Jan. 10 in Frisco, Texas.
Roberson passed for 278 yards and ran for another 95 including a touchdown as Illinois State. will head to its first ever championship game.
Marshaun Coprich capped a 10-play, 84-yard drive for the Redbirds with a 2-yard run a minute into the fourth quarter to cut New Hampshire's (12-2) lead to 18-13. He finished with 79 yards on 24 carries a week after having more than 200 in the quarterfinal win at Eastern Washington. It was the first time this season he was held under 100 yards.