Harnish delivers ‘record-breaking’ performance

By Tony Osborne

NIU (4-3, 2-1) had no trouble moving the ball on the ground at Huskie Stadium against Western Michigan (4-3, 2-1).

This was never more evident than the record-breaking performance of Huskies’ quarterback Chandler Harnish.

Harnish ran the ball 14 times, for 229 yards, averaging over 16 yards per carry. Harnish also threw for a quiet 203 yards after his rushing performance.

But Harnish did not convert any of those rushing yards into touchdowns.

“If only I were a little faster, I could have turned some of those long runs into touchdowns,” Harnish said.

Taking snaps for Harnish when he was on the sidelines was redshirt sophomore Jordan Lynch.

Lynch also had quite a day of his own on the ground, running the ball 12 times for 113 yards, leaving the Huskies with a combined 342 rushing yards from their quarterbacks.

“To have two quarterbacks go over 100 yards rushing in a game was fun for me to see,” said NIU head coach Dave Doeren.

This running success came predominantly in the second half, after a rather slow start to the game.

After halftime, Harnish and the Huskies meant business, only running a few plays the whole half.

“They ran two different running schemes and we could not stop any one of them,” said Western Michigan head coach Bill Cubit.

Those two plays, a sweep and quarterback option, were all NIU would need in the second half to put points on the board.

“We had a play toward the end of the half that we had a good run on and I told our offense, ‘I want you to run it until they can stop it’,” Doeren said.

The Broncos did not stop the Huskies’ draining no huddle running game in the second half; in the third quarter alone, NIU scored 24 unanswered points.

“It was great for us to click on all three cylinders and work as a team,” said NIU center Scott Wedige. “We ran the ball well and got after them.”