TOLEDO, Ohio – Chandler Harnish threw a 4-yard strike to Perez Ashford with 19 seconds left for his sixth touchdown pass of the game, lifting Northern Illinois to a wild 63-60 victory over Toledo on Tuesday night.
The Huskies and Rockets combined for 1,121 yards of offense and a Mid-American Conference-record 17 touchdowns in the second-highest scoring game in league history.
Tommylee Lewis returned two kickoffs for touchdowns in the first quarter for the Huskies (6-3, 4-1), who have won four straight and five of six. Harnish completed 17 of 26 passes for 265 yards, and also had 16 carries for 133 yards.
Austin Dantin threw five touchdown passes to Eric Page as the Rockets (5-4, 4-1) finished with 33 first downs and 589 yards of offense. Dantin went 20-for-33 for 322 yards, and Page had nine grabs for 150 yards.
Harnish connected with Nathan Palmer four times for 120 yards and three touchdowns, including a 71-yard play that gave Northern Illinois a 28-14 lead with 9:59 left in the second quarter.
Toledo then scored the next 17 points, capped by Dantin's 5-yard run that made it 31-28 with 11:46 to go in the third.
Adonis Thomas finished with 160 yards rushing and two touchdowns for the Rockets, who had won four straight since a 33-30 overtime loss at Syracuse on Sept. 24.
Thomas' 3-yard plunge gave Toledo a 60-56 lead with 4:16 remaining in the game.
Lewis returned the opening kickoff 100 yards to put the Huskies in front. The Rockets responded with Page's 12-yard TD reception, but Lewis went 95 yards on the ensuing kickoff to make it 14-7.
There was only one turnover in the game, a fumble by Northern Illinois.