Football redeemed at home

By Ryan Simpson

Football’s offense emerged from its three-game hibernation, posting its second-high offensive output of the season at its weekend game.

The Huskies (5-2, 2-1 MAC) defeated the Miami (Ohio) RedHawks (1-7, 1-3 MAC), 51-41, Saturday at Huskie Stadium. The Huskies’ 51 points comes on the heels of them combining for 48 points in their last three games.

“I’m thrilled with the victory,” said head coach Rod Carey. “It feels a lot better than it did last week. We never discount winning around here. We are extremely excited. Give Miami a lot of credit.”

The Huskies drew first blood on their first position with three long rushes by redshirt sophomore quarterback Drew Hare. Hare ran for 43 yards on the opening drive. Freshman tailback Jordan Huff scored the first touchdown with a 6-yard run and put the Huskies up 6-0, as kicker Tyler Wedel missed an extra point. The Huskies ran eight plays for 88 yards, all rushing, on the opening drive.

Miami answered with a quick march down the field to put the RedHawks up 7-6; it was their lone lead of the game. After a 26-yard reception by wide receiver Da’Ron Brown, which set up a Tyler Wedel field goal, the Huskies never looked back, going up 9-7 on a 28-yard field goal.

Hare ran for a 43-yard touchdown near the end of the first quarter and ended the quarter with 113 rushing yards.

“I thought we held them well early,” Hare said. “The line did a great job. The receivers outside, blocking and catching the ball; everyone just doing their job.”

A 6-yard touchdown run by redshirt senior tailback Cameron Stingily at 10:55 was answered by a RedHawk touchdown at 7:03. Hare connected with Brown for a 61-yard touchdown pass to put the Huskies up 30-14 with 5:58 left in the half.

“It always feels good to break away for a touchdown,” Brown said.

Miami added a touchdown before the half and punched in another one to open the scoring in the second half, getting within 37-28 midway through the third quarter.

NIU and Miami then exchanged touchdowns, with redshirt sophomore Anthony Maddie and RedHawks quarterback Andrew Hendrix each rushing into the end zone.

Hare’s second touchdown run — 1 yard — capped the Huskies’ scoring at 51 points. Hendrix’s final touchdown run left Miami trailing by 10 with 2:36 left. An onside was unsuccessful, and the Huskies claimed another conference win.

I’m “really thrilled. [I] thought our guys executed a lot better tonight,” Carey said. “We put them in position, and they responded, which is good. So, we all got better in that. We are not a finished product by any stretch of the imagination; we got a lot to improve on. We will go back to work after … 24 hours and make those corrections and then strive to keep getting better.”