Football leaps to .500 after after blowout win over Miami


Junior wide receiver Kenny Golladay runs in an Oct. 10 game against Ball State. The Huskies went on to win the game 59-41, breaking its three-game losing streak.

By Christopher Loggins

Football (4-3, 2-1 MAC) bumped its win streak to two on Saturday, downing Miami (Ohio) (1-6) in a 33-point blowout.

It was the second consecutive game in which NIU scored at least 45 points. The Huskies have accomplished this feat three times this season.

First half

The Huskies scored on their first drive of the game, putting together a six-play, 75-yard drive capped off by a touchdown run from junior running back Joel Bouagnon. It was his 11th touchdown of the season and his first on the day.

NIU scored again on its very next drive, picking up 53 yards on four plays in less than a minute. The drive ended with a 32-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Drew Hare to junior wide receiver Tommylee Lewis, his first receiving touchdown of the season.

The Huskies scored yet again on their last drive of the quarter as Bouagnon ran for his second 22-yard touchdown of the day, putting NIU up 21-0.

Miami was able to convert on a 36-yard field goal in the second quarter, trimming the Huskies’ lead to 18. It was the only score from either team in the second quarter as NIU led 21-3 heading into halftime.

Second half

The Huskies forced a turnover five minutes into the second half, taking control after an interception by sophomore cornerback Shawun Lurry, his seventh of the season and his fifth-straight game with a pick.

Bouagnon scored his third touchdown of game on a 53-yard run, bringing the Huskies’ lead to 28-5 after a one-play drive.

Sophomore kicker Christian Hagan scored on a 26-yard field goal, giving the Huskies a 31-5 heading into the final quarter.

Miami scored its first touchdown of the day on a 25-yard pass from freshman quarterback Billy Bahl to junior receiver Fred McRae in the fourth quarter.

NIU went on to score two more touchdowns in the quarter on runs from sophomore running back Jordan Huff and freshman running back Marcus Jones, giving it the 45-12 win.

“Overall I was pretty pleased,” said head coach Rod Carey, according to an NIU Athletics news release. “Drew was doing a good job, the running game got going with Joel and Jordan, and the defense gave up 10 points, and the touchdown was after a fluke turnover on the punt. Overall, our pressure was good, and the defense put our offense in good position.”

Hare threw for 203 yards on 17-26 passing, throwing for one touchdown. He has now thrown for 1,550 yards and nine touchdowns this season.

Bouagnon led the game in rushing, picking up 134 yards on just 14 carries, averaging 9.6 yards-per-carry and scoring three touchdowns, bringing his season total to 13.

Junior wide receiver Kenny Golladay led all receivers in the game, catching six passes for 73 yards and no touchdowns.

Shawun Lurry is now tied for third on NIU’s single-season interceptions list with seven and holds the record for interception yards by a Huskie in one season with 209, a record that was previously held by Chase Carter in 2007 with 120 yards.

The win was the Huskies’ first on the road this season, bringing its total to 1-3. It was also their second conference win in a row.

NIU will prepare for its homecoming game this weekend as it plays host to Eastern Michigan (1-6) at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday at Huskie Stadium.

The teams last faced off in 2014 when the Huskies took the Eagles down for the seventh straight time 28-17. Eastern is coming off a 63-20 loss to Toledo (6-0).