Huskies look to skip past ‘Cajuns

By Brian Wiencek

With three games left in the season, the Huskies (4-4) have a chance to finish above the .500 mark and LeShon Johnson has a chance at the NCAA Division I-A rushing title.

The next stepping stone is in Lafayette, La., tomorrow when the Huskies face the Ragin’ Cajuns of Southwestern Louisiana (2-7) at 4 p.m.

Despite its 2-7 record, USL has talent. Wide receiver Wayde Butler ranks No. 25 in the NCAA in catches per game with 5.1 and No. 30 in yards per game with 70. His 46 catches for 630 yards and four touchdowns make him the seventh-best receiver in USL history.

“We have three important games left and USL has to be addressed first,” said NIU head coach Charlie Sadler. “Now their overall record might not be impressive, but that football team has talent. They really do. You lose to Auburn by one point on a late field goal and that means you have talent.”

Sadler will again go with junior Scott Crabtree under center despite three interceptions last week against Western Michigan.

Johnson will attempt to move up the NIU career and season rushing list against a defense that has given up 114.7 ground yards per game.

“Every week LeShon gets better and better, stronger and stronger,” said Sadler. “LeShon is one of those special players that doesn’t come around too often. He’s really a difference maker. LeShon is a touch runner. He took some shots and he delivered some shots.”

The Huskie defense will have to deal with USL quarterback Tyjuan Hayes and an option offense that produces 258.7 yards per game.

The NIU defense will have to keep up its intensity without senior free safety Tom Rhomberg, who is out for the season with a ligament tear in his right knee.