Rapid Reaction: NIU 21, Ohio 14

By Frank Gogola

What happened: Football (9-2, 6-1 MAC) beat the Ohio Bobcats (5-6, 3-4 MAC), 21-14, Tuesday at Peden Stadium in Athens, Ohio.

How it happened: Redshirt senior tailback Cameron Stingily opened the scoring with a 2-yard touchdown run on the first play of the second quarter.

The Bobcats responded with a run-packed drive capped off by a 12-yard touchdown romp from true freshman tailback A.J. Ouellette with 10:13 left in the second quarter.

After nearly a quarter with any scoring, redshirt senior tailback Akeem Daniels put the Huskies up 14-7 with a 32-yard touchdown on a screen pass from Hare 5:35 into the second half. Daniels’ touchdown came on a drive started by redshirt sophomore cornerback Anthony Brooks’ interception of Ohio quarterback Derrius Vick.

The Bobcats knotted up the game at 14-14 when Ouellette caught a 9-yard touchdown pass from Vick with 8:50 to play.

The Huskies promptly responded, marching 70 yards on eight plays in 2:50. Sophomore wide receiver Chad Beebe caught an 18-yard touchdown pass from Hare on a post route to put NIU up 21-14 with 6:00 to play.

What it means: The Huskies remain in control of their own destiny in the MAC West. If they beat the Western Michigan Broncos in the regular season finale they will play in the MAC Championship game for the fifth-straight season.

Three stars:

3. NIU defense: Two forced fumbles, one interception and one sack

2. Ohio freshman tailback A.J. Ouellette: 25 rushes for 127 yards and one touchdown; four receptions for 9 yards and one touchdown

1. Redshirt sophomore quarterback Drew Hare: 15-23 for 178 yards and two touchdowns; 12 rushes for 67 yards

Up next: The Huskies conclude the regular season against the Western Michigan Broncos (7-3, 5-1 MAC) 7 p.m. Nov. 28 at Waldo Stadium in Kalamazoo, Mich.