(Saturday, October 1st)
Final Score: Central Michigan 48, Northern Illinois 41
Mount Pleasant, MI (Sports Network) - Ryan Radcliff delivered an outstanding performance, as he completed 17-of-28 passes for 287 yards and four touchdowns, as Central Michigan defeated Northern Illinois 48-41 in a Mid Atlantic Conference shootout at Kelly/Shorts Stadium.
Paris Cotton was electrifying for the Central Michigan (2-3, 1-1 MAC), as he rushed for 110 yards on 16 carries with a touchdown and also led the team in receiving with 115 yards on just four receptions with two scores. Jahleel Addae was phenomenal on the defensive side of the ball, as he recorded 18 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, a forced fumble, and two interceptions.
Northern Illinois (2-3, 1-1 MAC) was led by Chandler Harnish, who completed 27-of-50 passes for 370 yards with two touchdowns. The quarterback also helped the Huskies' ground attack as he ran for 92 yards and a touchdown. Jasmin Hopkins led the team in rushing with 95 yards on 19 carries with a score. Martel Moore led all receivers with 130 yards on just six receptions and also added a touchdown.
Central Michigan owned the first quarter, as the Chippewas jumped out to an early lead. David Harman opened up the scoring with a 29-yard field goal just over four minutes into the contest to give Central Michigan a 3-0 lead.
Radcliff then completed a 79-yard touchdown pass to Courtney Williams with eight minutes remaining in the first on the next possession and Ben Brown rushed seven yards for a score at the 5:41 mark of the first frame to give Central Michigan a 17-0 lead going into the second quarter.
Northern Illinois climbed back into the game in the second quarter. Moore and Harnish hooked up for a 55-yard touchdown pass to put the Huskies on the board just 20 seconds into the quarter.
With just under 10 minutes remaining in the half, kicker Mathew Sims connected on a 35-yard field goal attempt which made the score 17-10 in favor of Central Michigan.
Just a few minutes into the second half, Cotton took a Radcliff screen pass 43 yards to the end zone to make it 24-10.
Northern Illinois responded with a field goal from Sims near the third period's 10-minute mark.
Cotton struck a second time in the quarter as he rushed 36 yards for a touchdown that made the Central Michigan lead 31-13 with 4:20 left in the third quarter.
Sims would add another field goal for Northern Illinois before the game progressed into the final frame.
Less than two minutes into the fourth quarter, Cotton would again bust out a big play as he took a Radcliff pass 46 yards to the end zone to give the Chippewas a 38-16 lead.
Just over a minute later, Jasmin Hopkins ran three yards for a quick Huskies' score, cutting into CMU's lead, 38-24.
Central Michigan answered right back with a 61-yard touchdown pass from Radcliff to David Blackburn to make the score 45-24 with 10:42 remaining.
Harnish did his best to lead his team back in the fourth with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Hopkins and a one-yard touchdown run. Another Sims field goal put Northern Illinois down just 48-41 with 19 seconds remaining but the Huskies could not get any closer before the final gun went off.
The conference rivals combined for a total of 1,150 yards of total offense. Northern Illinois Harnish broke the school's career passing yard total formerly held by George Bork (1960-1963) during the contest.
10/01 21:43:18 ET