NCAA Game Summary - Northern Illinois at Illinois|
(Saturday, September 18th)
Final Score: Illinois 28, Northern Illinois 22
Champaign, IL (Sports Network) - Mikel Leshoure rushed for 180 yards and one
touchdown for Illinois, as the Fighting Illini defeated the Northern Illinois
Huskies, 28-22, at Memorial Stadium.
Quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase also helped out the ground game for Illinois
(2-1), totaling 115 yards and one touchdown on 16 totes. Since the rushing
attack was so effective, Scheelhaase only threw the ball 16 times, completing
eight of those attempts for 70 yards.
As for the Huskies (1-2), they were led by quarterback Chandler Harnish, who
threw for 208 yards, but more importantly rushed for a team-best 117 yards, to
go along with one touchdown.
The Fighting Illini opened the contest with a nine-yard touchdown run by
The Huskies responded on their next drive, as Chad Spann smashed into the
end zone on a one-yard run. However, NIU's two-point attempt was unsuccessful,
leaving the Huskies down by a slim, 7-6 margin.
An impressive 37-yard touchdown scamper by Harnish put the Huskies ahead for
the first time in the matchup. However, once again coach Jerry Kill's squad
was unable to produce after the score, as Mathew Sims missed the extra point.
Less than a minute into the second quarter the Illini cut into their deficit
with a 25-yard field goal by Derek Dimke.
Illinois regained the lead late in the first half when Jason Ford broke free
for an eight-yard touchdown run. The Illini added two more points on a run by
Scheelhaase, which put his team up 18-12.
Neither team scored in the third quarter, but the Illini extended their lead
to 21-12 midway through the final frame when Dimke connected on a 32-yard
NIU did not take long to respond, as Jasmin Hopkins found Landon Cox for a 19-
yard scoring strike, cutting the Huskies deficit to 21-19 with six minutes
remaining in regulation.
With less than two minutes remaining in the final quarter, Leshoure broke free
for a 29-yard touchdown run, giving the Illini a 28-19 edge.
Michael Cklamovski nailed a 48-yard field goal for the Huskies in the final
minute of action, but Northern Illinois did not have another chance on
offense, as Illinois was able to hold on for the six-point win.
09/18 16:01:22 ET