Muncie, IN (Sports Network) - Jordan Lynch tallied more than 400 yards of total
offense and four touchdowns as the Northern Illinois Huskies held off the Ball
State Cardinals, 35-23, in Mid-American Conference action at Scheumann Stadium.
Lynch rushed 29 times for 207 yards and three scores and added 195 yards
passing and a touchdown for NIU (5-1, 2-0 MAC), which has won five straight
after losing its opener to Iowa. Akeem Daniels was the Huskies' leading
receiver with five catches for 78 yards and a score.
For Ball State (3-3. 0-2), Keith Wenning was busy on the afternoon, completing
a school-record 42-of-71 passes for 434 yards with a touchdown and two
interceptions, and he also added a rushing score. He has now passed for at
least 400 yards in back-to-back games, although the Cardinals lost both
contests. Jamill Smith (14 receptions, 146 yards) and Zane Fakes (11
receptions, 98 yards) were the primary beneficiaries of Wenning's passes, and
Willie Snead (six reception, 87 yards) caught the touchdown pass.
NIU opened up the scoring at the 4:03 mark of the first quarter with a 29-yard
touchdown run from Lynch.
Ball State added a 20-yard field goal from Steven Schott just before the close
of the first quarter to make it 7-3, although the Huskies responded on their
next drive with a one-yard touchdown run from Leighton Settle.
On the next Cardinals's possession, they drove 14 plays but had to settle for
another short field goal from Schott.
Ball State scored its first touchdown at the 3:19 mark of the second quarter
following a 12-yard touchdown pass from Wenning to Willie Snead. After a
NIU fumble on the ensuing kickoff return, the Cardinals added a 43-yard field
goal from Schott to take a 16-14 lead.
The teams swapped touchdowns in the third quarter. Wenning rushed for a
one-yard score for Ball State and Lynch responded with a 12-yard touchdown
scamper for NIU to make it 23-21 in favor of the Cardinals.
With just under five minutes to play in regulation, the Huskies regained the
lead, 28-23, following a 54-yard scoring strike from Lynch to Akeem Daniels.
A 71-yard rushing touchdown by Lynch later in the quarter put NIU up by 12 and
assured it the victory.
Ball State lost despite outgaining NIU, 563 total yards to 509, and controlling
the clock for more than 33 minutes. The Cardinals also set a school-record with
100 plays from scrimmage.
The Sports Network