Last minute gamble falls short


The Huskies failed on a last minute two-point conversion attempt to steal a victory from Big West rival Louisiana Tech in the Bulldogs 17-16 win in Ruston, Saturday.

In the fourth quarter with the Bulldogs up 17-10, sophomore linebacker C.J. Rose blocked a punt and recovered it on Tech’s 6-yard line.

Four plays later, Johnson jumped over the top to score the second of his two touchdowns to bring the Huskies within one.

Head coach Charlie Sadler went for the two-point conversion which would have given the Huskies the win, but Johnson was stopped on the goal line, and with :43 remaining fifth year senior quarterback Bart Geiser threw an interception from his own one-yard line to seal NIU’s fate.

Sadler said that they worked too hard to get that far and go home with a tie.

One of the surprises Sadler brought on the field was Geiser, who ran the first play of his college career in the last play of the Huskies loss to Southwestern Louisiana last week.

With Crabtree out nursing a separated shoulder, Sadler had a choice between Ron Reichert, freshman Aaron Gilbert, or Geiser.

Reichert started last week and threw three interceptions, and didn’t seem to gain the confidence of his teammates.

With Geiser at control, the Huskies did not come out throwing, but did try to throw off the defense by giving the ball to Brian Cotton on the fist play of the game.

After a gain of three yards, the ball was knocked out of Cotton’s hands and recovered by the Bulldog’s Thedrick Harris.

For the next three quarters this is the way it looked for the Huskies.

On the next drive, LeShon Johnson took the ball on third-and-six only to fall on his own fumble as NIU was forced to punt.

The Bulldog defense was able to do something most teams the Huskies faced this year couldn’t do: hold LeShon Johnson to only 105 yards, his second lowest total of the year.

After an 11-yard punt from Jamie Dobay, Tech took the ball 45 yards in 4:14 to go up 3-0 on a 26-yard field goal.

Late in the first quarter, sophomore linebacker Shawn Wehrspan recovered a Bulldog fumble to give the Huskies the ball on Tech’s 10-yard line.

Johnson took advantage of the Bulldog mistake by taking the ball two yards for the touchdown, and a Brian Steager point after put the Huskies up 7-3 with a :04 gone in the second quarter.

The Huskies came close to extending their lead in the second quarter, driving the ball to the Bulldog’s 6-yard line, but couldn’t get the ball in the end zone. On fourth and goal, Steager missed a 26-yard field goal attempt, and gave Tech the ball at their own 20-yard line.

After one more unsuccessful NIU drive, Tech acted fast using only one play for a 59-yard touchdown pass, and went ahead of the Huskies 10-7.

In the third quarter, the Bulldogs received the ball after a 39-yard punt from Dobay on their own 19-yard line.

Tech augmented a seven play, 81-yard drive with a 55-yard touchdown pass which put the Dogs up 17-7.

The Huskies were able to drive all the way to Tech’s 4-yard line, only to settle for a 21-yard field goal from Steager which brought them within a touchdown reach.

In the middle of the fourth quarter, Geiser managed to complete two passes, and run for ten yards on a drive that ended at the Bulldog’s 5-yard line.

With first and goal on Tech’s five, and 4:30 left in the game, Geiser tried to put the Huskies within one with a pass attempt which was intercepted and returned for 15 yards.

The Bulldogs stopped the Huskies after their failed two-point conversion attempt leaving them with a 4-5 record, 3-3 in the Big West.