Huskies make heads roll

By Sean Ostruszka

DeKALB | He’s done it against Northwestern and against Akron. Ball State and Buffalo. Bowling Green and Western Michigan.

And yes the list goes on.

But Indiana State managed to keep their name off the list. Problem was they couldn’t keep Garrett Wolfe out of the end zone.

The senior running back racked up 198 yards and four touchdowns as NIU routed Division I-AA ISU 48-14 Saturday at Huskie Stadium.

For Wolfe, the nation’s leading rusher, recording 200 yard games has become almost common. He has eight in his career and was averaging 210 yards a game before Saturday.

So with NIU (2-2) playing Indiana State — a team that has allowed 290.7 rushing yards a game this season — many felt Wolfe had a shot at breaking the all-time single game rushing record of 406 yards, set by Texas-Christian’s LaDainian Tomlinson.

But as great an accomplishment it would have been for Wolfe, NIU coach Joe Novak knew that’s not what Saturday’s game was for.

“This game was a great chance to get a number of different players some playing time,” the 11th-year coach said.

After defensive end Ken West recovered a fumble and returned it for a touchdown on the opening play of the game, NIU coasted to a 28-0 lead by the end of the first quarter and a 38-0 lead by halftime.

With the game well in hand, Novak got a chance to see what kind of depth he had behind his starters.

After Wolfe took a seat mid way through the third quarter, junior Cas Prime and redshirt freshman Justin Anderson showed there is potential after No. 1 is gone.

A polar opposite of Wolfe, Prime bowled his way for 77 yards on 13 carries and showed he may finally be fully recovered from the injuries that have plagued him in his college career.

As for Anderson, the Chicago native rushed for 53 yards on 6 carries using a mix of both Prime and Wolfe. He flashed speed and shiftiness while still having the extra size — 5-foot-11, 203 pounds — to be a physical runner.

“If I had to say that I was most impressed with anyone it would have to be either Cas Prime or Justin Anderson,” Novak said.

A few youngsters on defense also got to see some action.

Defensive end Anthony Antonacci showed he has the size to be an eventual force on the line as he registered a sack and recovered a fumble.

And star recruit John Tranchitella officially made his debut at linebacker with two tackles for losses.

Sean Ostruszka is the Sports Assistant Editor for the Northern Star.