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Ball State pulls away for 31-21 win over Western Illinois

A pair of central Indiana high school products ran for touchdowns in the Ball State win Thursday.
Credit: AP
Ball State running back Carson Steele (33) rushes the ball out of the backfield and toward the end zone to score during an NCAA football game on Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021, in Muncie, Ind. (AP Photo/Doug McSchooler)

MUNCIE, Ind. — Drew Plitt threw two long touchdown passes to Justin Hall and Ball State pulled away in the second half for a 31-21 victory over Western Illinois in a nonconference season opener. 

Plitt connected with Hall for a 49-yard score midway through the first quarter to open the scoring and fired a 48-yard scoring strike to Hall midway through the third quarter to give the Cardinals a 21-14 lead. 

Freshman Carson Steele, a Center Grove graduate, raced 37 yards for a TD early in the fourth quarter to make it 28-14 and Jake Chanove added a 35-yard field goal to cap Ball State’s scoring.

Will Jones, a senior from Lapel, led the Cardinals with 93 yards rushing and also scored a touchdown. 

The win was the eighth straight for the Cardinals, dating back to last season.

Ball State travels to Penn State for a 3:30 p.m. kickoff against the Nittany Lions on Saturday, Sept. 11. 

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