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(Friday, November 26th)
Final Score: Northern Illinois 71, Eastern Michigan 3
Ypsilanti, MI (Sports Network) - Jordan Lynch ran for a game-high 142 yards and scored two touchdowns as Northern Illinois slammed the Eastern Michigan Eagles, 71-3, in Mid-American Conference action at Rynearson Stadium.
The Huskies (10-2, 8-0 MAC) generated an incredible 544 yards on the ground, setting a new season mark, leading to eight total touchdowns in the onslaught. DeMarcus Grady and Chad Spann both crossed the goal line twice coming out of the backfield, while Jasmin Hopkins and Ricky Crider both scored once on the ground as well. Quarterback Chandler Harnish connected on 8-of-13 passes for 101 yards and two TDs, both of those going to Willie Clark.
The Eagles (2-10, 2-6) had very little in the way of offense on the afternoon as quarterback Alex Gillett converted just 4-of-9 attempts for 11 yards. Running back Dwayne Priest gained a team-best 59 yards on 21 attempts in the season-ending loss.
The Huskies ran out to a 20-0 lead in the first quarter as Spann raced 71 yards into the end zone for the first TD of the day, followed by a 22-yard scoring run by Crider and another two-yard TD from Spann. A failed PAT after the first score kept NIU from being perfect.
Eastern Michigan finally hit the scoreboard with 12:55 to play in the first half when kicker Sean Graham knocked through a 27-yard effort, capping a 12- play, 63-yard drive. After that the rest of the outing belonged to the Huskies as they rattled off 51 unanswered points.
Harnish hooked up with Clark on passing scores of 18 and 16 yards in the second period and kicker Michael Cklamovski made good on a 38-yard field goal with 1:01 remaining in the first half to give Northern Illinois a 37-3 advantage at the break.
The third quarter saw rushing touchdowns of 81 and 61 yards by Lynch, as well as a 61-yard rumble over the goal line by Grady to give the Huskies a hefty 58-3 lead.
A 30-yard TD run by Grady early in the fourth quarter was followed by a 74- yard TD scamper by Hopkins and, just as the game began, Cklamovski missed on the final PAT of the day to leave the visitors with the overwhelming 68-point victory.
Winners of nine in a row, the Huskies produced a massive 646 yards of total offense and at the same time held EMU to just 160 yards. Perhaps most impressive was the fact that NIU averaged an incredible 13.2 yards per play.
Northern Illinois, which has scored at least 50 points in three straight and four times overall this season, has outscored the last three opponents by a combined 195-54. The last time the Huskies scored more than 70 points was in a 73-10 victory over Buffalo on October 28, 2000.
Eastern Michigan entered this week with a scoring defense that ranked 118th in the nation with a lofty 41.1 ppg allowed. Earlier in the season the Eagles suffered a 73-20 setback at the hands of Ohio State on the road.
Northern Illinois will be back in action a week from now battling for the MAC Championship at Ford Field in Detroit.
11/26 16:49:07 ET