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(Saturday, October 6)
Final Score: Northern Illinois 35, Ball State 23
Muncie, IN (Sports Network) - Jordan Lynch tallied more than 400 yards of total offense and four touchdowns as the Northern Illinois Huskies held off the Ball State Cardinals, 35-23, in Mid-American Conference action at Scheumann Stadium.
Lynch rushed 29 times for 207 yards and three scores and added 195 yards passing and a touchdown for NIU (5-1, 2-0 MAC), which has won five straight after losing its opener to Iowa. Akeem Daniels was the Huskies' leading receiver with five catches for 78 yards and a score.
For Ball State (3-3. 0-2), Keith Wenning was busy on the afternoon, completing a school-record 42-of-71 passes for 434 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions, and he also added a rushing score. He has now passed for at least 400 yards in back-to-back games, although the Cardinals lost both contests. Jamill Smith (14 receptions, 146 yards) and Zane Fakes (11 receptions, 98 yards) were the primary beneficiaries of Wenning's passes, and Willie Snead (six reception, 87 yards) caught the touchdown pass.
NIU opened up the scoring at the 4:03 mark of the first quarter with a 29-yard touchdown run from Lynch.
Ball State added a 20-yard field goal from Steven Schott just before the close of the first quarter to make it 7-3, although the Huskies responded on their next drive with a one-yard touchdown run from Leighton Settle.
On the next Cardinals's possession, they drove 14 plays but had to settle for another short field goal from Schott.
Ball State scored its first touchdown at the 3:19 mark of the second quarter following a 12-yard touchdown pass from Wenning to Willie Snead. After a NIU fumble on the ensuing kickoff return, the Cardinals added a 43-yard field goal from Schott to take a 16-14 lead.
The teams swapped touchdowns in the third quarter. Wenning rushed for a one-yard score for Ball State and Lynch responded with a 12-yard touchdown scamper for NIU to make it 23-21 in favor of the Cardinals.
With just under five minutes to play in regulation, the Huskies regained the lead, 28-23, following a 54-yard scoring strike from Lynch to Akeem Daniels.
A 71-yard rushing touchdown by Lynch later in the quarter put NIU up by 12 and assured it the victory.
Ball State lost despite outgaining NIU, 563 total yards to 509, and controlling the clock for more than 33 minutes. The Cardinals also set a school-record with 100 plays from scrimmage.
10/06 19:44:48 ET
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