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Huskies Hold Off Chippewas in Conference Opener

DEKALB, IL – Marcus Childers tossed three touchdown passes and the NIU defense made the stops necessary as the Huskies defeated Central Michigan in the conference opener on Saturday 24-16.

After a scoreless first period, the Chippewas got the scoring started with a field goal from Ryan Tice of 27 yards to cap a 8-play 20-yard drive in 3:53 to give CMU a 3-0 lead.

After that it was all Huskies. Spencer Tears snatched at 14-yard touchdown pass from Childers with 4:03 remaining in the half to give the Huskies a lead they wouldn’t relinquish at 7-3. The touchdown toss finished a 79 yard drive in 12 plays. Three minutes later, Denni Robinson caught a 7-yard touchdown from Childers and NIU led 14-3 at recess.

NIU continued its barrage with 6:30 left in the 3rd quarter when D.J. Brown hauled in a pass from 2 yards out with 6:30 left and the Huskies stretched their lead to 21-3.

Three minutes later however, the Chips got back into the game as Tommy Lazzaro ran it in from 6-yards out to make the score 21-10 heading into the final stanza.

With 9:43 left in the final period, the Chippewas struck again as Lazzaro found Julian Hicks for a 4-yard touchdown, though the two-point conversion failed. The Chips trailed only 21-16, but Andrew Gantz put the game out of reach with a 36-yard field goal to cap the final scoring drive of the game which took 9 plays and 52 yards.

The Huskies finished with 284 total yards on the afternoon while allowing 322 to Central Michigan. Tre Harbison paced the Huskies running attack with 124 yards on 13 carries while Jonathan Ward paced CMU with 74 yards on 16 carries.

Marcus Childers finished 11-18 for 109 yards and 3 TDs for NIU.

NIU faces a very stiff challenge next week as they travel to Doak Campbell Stadium to face the host Seminoles of Florida State.

Photo Courtesy of NIU Athletics

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