The best of NIU football: Homecoming edition

Sports reporter Joey Segreti examines the top NIU Homecoming football games


Khavon Thomas

Junior quarterback Rocky Lombardi evades a rusher during a NIU football game against Eastern Michigan on Oct. 2. NIU hosts Bowling Green State University. (Khavon Thomas | Northern Star)

DeKALB – In honor of homecoming week at NIU, here is a list of some of the more memorable NIU homecoming football games.

The Huskies have dominated in their past homecoming games, holding a record of 74-30-10. NIU has also won 20 of its last 22 homecoming games since 2000.

A battle within state lines

The 1989 NIU homecoming game took place on Oct. 7 and featured a matchup between the Huskies and Southern Illinois University. This game was played in front of a large crowd in DeKalb of roughly 24,000 people. The Huskies won the game after a four-yard rush by fullback Adam Dach sealed a 29-24 victory for the Huskies.

One notable performance from this game was halfback Brett Schroeder’s 172 rushing yards. Quarterback Stacey Robinson also had 161 rushing yards as the team totaled 416 rushing yards in the game.

Rainy days make losing streaks go away

During the 1998 season, the Huskies had lost 23 consecutive games since the 1996 season. NIU’s 1998 homecoming game was on a rainy Saturday on Oct. 17 in DeKalb against the Central Michigan University Chippewas. NIU pulled off a 16-6 win to end one of the longest losing streaks in the history of the program.

Then-freshman running back Mike Johnson rushed for a 25-yard touchdown early in the second quarter, NIU’s only touchdown of the game.

After the game ended, fans rushed the field and removed one of the goalposts. Students proceeded to bring the goalpost into the East Lagoon.

Lynch leads Buffalo bashing

The 2012 season was a special one for the NIU football program. The Huskies mounted a 12-2 record and made a trip to play the Florida State University Seminoles in the 2013 Orange Bowl. NIU’s 2012 homecoming game, which took place on Oct. 13 at Huskie Stadium, featured a matchup between NIU and the University at Buffalo Bulls.

This game was not close, as the Huskies easily took down the Bulls with a final score of 45-3. Then-junior quarterback Jordan Lynch led the charge for the Huskies’ offense in this game as he went 13-20 passing with 232 yards and two touchdowns. Lynch also rushed for 161 yards and two touchdowns in the game.

Huskies rule the running game

The Huskies’ 2018 homecoming matchup was against the Ohio University Bobcats. The Bobcats had control of the game, but a 15-point fourth quarter performance for the Huskies helped propel them past Ohio. NIU took the lead with under five minutes to play on a rushing touchdown by then-senior running back Marcus Jones.

Then-redshirt sophomore quarterback Marcus Childers rushed for 169 yards in the game and scored one touchdown. Running backs Jones and then senior D.J. Brown combined for 63 rushing yards and two touchdowns. The Huskies as a team had 255 rushing yards in the game.

What’s next

The Huskies will play the University of Toledo at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Huskie Stadium for the 115th Homecoming game. The game can be viewed on ESPN+. Live statistics can be viewed on SIDEARM Sports.