(Tuesday, November 15th)
Final Score: Northern Illinois 41, Ball State 38
DeKalb, IL (Sports Network) - Mathew Sims hit a 34-yard field goal with eight seconds remaining to lift Northern Illinois 41-38 over Ball State in Mid- American Conference action at Huskie Stadium.
Chandler Harnish threw for 338 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 181 yards and another score for Northern Illinois (8-3, 6-1 MAC), which amassed 710 yards of total offense and recorded 43 first downs.
Harnish engineered a 10-play, 63-yard drive in the final two minutes to set up Sims' game-winner. Jasmin Hopkins added 122 yards rushing and two touchdowns for the Huskies.
Keith Wenning led Ball State (6-5, 4-3) with 245 yards passing and two touchdowns, but the Cardinals blew a 31-14 lead in the second half. Scott Kovanda led the team in rushing with 68 yards on just one attempt and Jahwan Edwards added 45 yards rushing on 14 totes. Wenning added a rushing touchdown.
Ball State jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, as Wenning rushed for a three-yard score at the 9:21 mark of the first frame. The Ball State defense came up with a big play late in the first quarter, as Joshua Howard returned a fumble 92-yards for a touchdown to put the Cardinals up by two touchdowns.
Harnish threw his first touchdown pass of the day early in the second quarter, finding Martel Moore on a 15-yard touchdown strike. Hopkins tied the game at 14 on a three-yard run seven minutes later, capping a 10-play, 90-yard drive that took up 4:17 of clock.
Ball State retook the lead at the 3:37 mark of the second quarter after Wenning hit Jamill Smith for a 38-yard touchdown pass, and the Cardinals extended their lead to 24-14 after Steven Schott booted a 40-yard field goal with 33 second remaining before halftime.
Jack Tomlinson caught a three-yard touchdown pass from Wenning to put Ball State up 21 with just over nine minutes to play in the third quarter. Harnish countered on the next drive with a 49-yard touchdown scamper, and Hopkins cut the deficit to 31-28 late in the third quarter with an 11-yard touchdown run that capped a 10-play, 92-yard scoring drive.
Harnish gave Northern Illinois the lead a minute into the fourth quarter, hitting Nathan Palmer on a 27-yard touchdown pass. With 11 minutes remaining, Ball State took a 38-35 lead on a seven yard touchdown run from Dwayne Donigan.
Sims tied the game with a 23-yard field goal with 2:46 remaining. Ball State was forced to punt on the ensuing possession, setting up the game-winning drive from Northern Illinois.
11/16 00:39:49 ET