Northern Illinois, Central Michigan hang on for victories while Western Michigan rolls

By Philip Sanzo

Eastern Michigan defensive back DaQuan Pace  (Julian H. Gonzalez/Detroit Free Press/MCT)
Eastern Michigan defensive back DaQuan Pace (Julian H. Gonzalez/Detroit Free Press/MCT)

The Northern Illinois football team handed Eastern Michigan its sixth loss of the season Saturday, beating the Eagles 28-17. The Huskies earned their sixth victory of the season and became bowl-eligible for the seventh straight year.

Northern Illinois (6-2, 3-1 Mid-American Conference) ran for 332 yards and scored all four of its touchdowns on the ground. Both teams’ offenses relied heavily on the run game, producing a combined total of 589 rushing yards while only passing for a combined total of 178 yards.

Huskies’ quarterback Drew Hare led the team in rushing with 166 yards on 13 carries. With 11 minutes left in the first quarter, Hare had a 78-yard touchdown run which put the Huskies out in front, 7-0.

EMU (2-6, 1-3 MAC) stayed competitive early on though. With four seconds left in the half, the Eagles kicked a field goal to cut the deficit to 14-10. They proceeded to take a 17-14 lead in the fourth quarter when quarterback Reginald Bell Jr. ran four yards into the end zone.

Northern Illinois rebounded though, scoring two more touchdowns on rushes by Joel Bouagnon and Cameron Stingily to put the game away.

The Huskies will play another MAC team next Wednesday when they take on Ball State (3-5). EMU will also continue its MAC schedule when it takes on Central Michigan this Saturday.

Western Michigan rolls past Ohio

Western Michigan, who has only suffered one loss in a conference game all year, dominated Ohio 42-21 Saturday.

The well-balanced Broncos’ (5-3, 3-1 MAC) offense saw three rushing touchdowns on 156 yards from Jarvion Franklin and two passing touchdowns and 344 yards from Zach Terrell. With Saturday’s performance, Franklin surpassed the 1,000-yard mark for the season.

The Bobcats (4-5, 2-3 MAC) appeared to have control early, scoring the game’s first touchdown on a 3-yard run from Daz’mond Patterson. The touchdown came one play after an interception by Terrell. But Ohio would not score again until the fourth quarter.

The interception was one of two mistakes by Terrell for the day, who completed 22-of-28 passes and two touchdowns passes, both to wide receiver Corey Davis.

Davis, Terrell’s primary target, caught nine passes and recorded 212 yards. His two touchdowns came on a 7-yard and 56-yard reception.

The Bobcats never posed a threat to come back after trailing for most of the game. Ohio trailed by as much as 28 points.

Western Michigan will carry its three-game winning streak into next Saturday’s game against Miami (Ohio), while the Bobcats will try to rebound from the loss Nov. 5 against Buffalo.

Central Michigan sneaks by Buffalo

A closely fought game between Central Michigan and Buffalo ended with the Chippewas edging the Bulls, 20-14.

In a low scoring affair, the teams went into the fourth quarter knotted up at 14-14. Central Michigan (5-4, 3-2 MAC) broke the tie with a 7-yard passing touchdown to Titus Davis with eight minutes, eight seconds left to play in the game. Buffalo caught a major break after the touchdown when the Chippewas missed the extra point attempt, keeping the difference at six points.

Although the Bulls (3-5, 1-3 MAC) did not come away with the win, it made the game closer than expected. Buffalo, which at one point trailed 14-0 before the half, mounted a comeback to tie the game heading into the final quarter.

Both touchdowns for the Bulls came on passes from quarterback Joe Licata. The junior threw for 233 yards and completed 21-of-35 pass attempts. He also threw two interceptions, which both resulted in touchdown drives for Central Michigan.

Chippewas’ quarterback Cooper Rush matched up evenly with Licata, throwing for 231 yards and one touchdown. Running back Saylor Lavallii ran in the other two touchdowns for Central Michigan.

The Chippewas are scheduled to take on Eastern Michigan this Saturday while Buffalo will travel to Ohio to take on the Bobcats Nov.5.

Philip Sanzo can be reached at [email protected]