Update 11:34: Huskies win 31-24, will go to MAC Championship game for third year in a row. Stick with NorthernStar.info for more information and photos from the game.
At halftime: In a closely contested half, in front of an almost full crowd, the Toledo Rockets jumped out to an early lead over NIU.
The Huskies chose to give Toledo the ball first and the Rockets quickly went to work with junior quarterback Terrance Owens leading a methodical 72-yard drive over the course of nearly five minutes, to go up 7-0. The touchdown was scored by top-five nation-wide running back junior David Fluellen.
The two teams exchanged fumbles, starting with junior quarterback Jordan Lynch losing the ball to senior cornerback Jermaine Robinson. The Huskies quickly turned around and got the ball back with a forced fumble by junior safety Jimmie Ward, who stripped Fluellen.
Ward later came up with an interception of Owens, which resulted in NIU leading a nine play, 34-yard touchdown drive. It was capped by a back-shoulder pass to senior receiver Martel Moore.
Toledo answered with the final score of the half on the next possession, as it once more marched down field, covering 83 yards on seven plays. The big play that ate up the most ground was a 20-yard pass to junior receiver Bernard Reedy, and an additional penalty charged to Ward tacked on 15 yards. Owens would then hit freshman receiver Alonso Russel for another 20 yards before finally punching in a one-yard run of his own.
Lynch finished the half with just 136 total yards between rushing and passing, while Owens completed 15-17 passes for 162 yards and two total touchdowns.