Looking back at NIU’s 49 years of Bronze Stalk battles


Mingda Wu | Northern Star

COVID-freshman running back Jay Ducker is tackled by a Ball State defender in NIU’s 30-29 victory over the Cardinals on Nov. 10 at Huskie Stadium. Ducker had a touchdown run with 2:42 remaining to give NIU their first lead of the game.

It’s that time of the year once again; the Huskies football team is taking on its arch-rivals, the Ball State University Cardinals. NIU currently sits at fourth place in the MAC West, they are coming off of a two game losing streak against Southeastern Conference teams. They now look to get their first conference win against a 1-3 Ball State, who sits at sixth place.

Since 1941, the two teams have competed against each other annually but it has only been since 2008 that they have competed for the trophy. Throughout the past, NIU leads with 25 wins, while Ball State has 22 with two ties.

The first game in 1941 resulted in a tie game with both teams scoring six points. Since then, NIU has the largest victory out scoring the Cardinals 63-17, as well as the longest win streak from 2008 to 2018. The Huskies also hold the current win streak with one win. The last time the two teams met, NIU won in a close game 30-29.

The trophy presented to the winner every year is a bronze sculpture created by local DeKalb artist Renee Bemis. It depicts multiple cornstalks conveying the prominence of corn in the two towns. The first time the trophy was presented, Ball State won, hoisting the trophy at their own Scheumann Stadium. But NIU boasted the trophy for the first time the following year at Huskie Stadium.

This game is especially prevalent due to the current records of the teams. Neither team has had a conference game yet. Whoever wins will rise up to first or second place, whereas the loser will fall to last. Ball State is coming in hot off a shutout win against Murray State University but NIU has faced three tough losses the past three weeks to the University of Tulsa, Vanderbilt University and the University of Kentucky.

The two teams will meet at Schuemann Field in Muncie Indiana this week at 1 p.m. CT on Saturday.