Northern Illinois soars over Skyhawks
Published: Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 2, 2012 19:10
The UTM Skyhawks lost Saturday, Sept. 8, in DeKalb, Illinois, to the NIU Huskies 35-7.
The Skyhawks received the ball to open the game. Running backs Jason McNair and Tevin Barksdale took turns pounding the rock against an unforgiving NIU defensive front, which resulted in a punting situation for UTM.
UTM was not ready for the Huskies no huddle offense, and NIU quarterback Jordan Lynch took advantage of the uncertainty. Lynch marched the Huskies offense 79 yards in only nine plays and three minutes. Running back Jamal Womble punched in the go ahead score from two yards out.
The Skyhawks second possession began with an 11-yard pass from Derek Carr to Barksdale, which was followed by a 15-yard penalty against NIU. Carr followed up the penalty with two connections to wide receiver Quentin Sims totaling in 22 yards in the air. Running back D.J. McNeil ran the rock three times to make it third down and goal. Carr overshot tight end Ben Everett, which would set up a 21-yard field goal attempt for senior kicker Cody Sandlin. Sandlin’s kick went wide right, and the score would remain at 7-0 NIU.
Following the missed field goal, NIU and UTM traded possessions and the score would remain 7-0 at the end of the first quarter.
The first play in the second quarter resulted in a NIU touchdown. Lynch connected with wide receiver Martel Moore for a 31-yard completion. NIU would now lead 14-0 with 14:48 remaining in the second quarter.
After the score, neither team was able to produce a positive drive. UTM’s possession resulted in a punt after a net gain of negative two. Following the punt, Lynch’s pass would be intercepted by Taino Fears-Perez at the 22-yard line.
The Skyhawks took over with 12:24 remaining in the second quarter. The first play of this possession resulted in a 17-yard run by McNeil putting UTM on the 49-yard line. After a few positive plays, the Skyhawks were stalled and forced to punt. Punter James Satterfield muffed the ball, resulting in a fumble recovery by NIU.
The Huskies went to their ground game, giving the rock to running back Leighto Settle for six carries. With Lynch and Settle driving the Huskies attack, they drove the length of the field and Lynch would score on a one yard quarterback keeper.
Both offenses would stall after significant gains, but neither squad could put a dent in the scoreboard. As a result, the halftime score would be NIU,21 and UTM, 0.
NIU received the kick to start the second half. Lynch quickly found his primary target Martel Moore for a gain of 14 yards. After the first down, the Huskies went three and out, and were forced to punt.
After a short UTM series, NIU took possession of the ball once again. Lynch quickly hit his target, tight end Luke Eakes, for a 32-yard gain through the air. With the reception, NIU was sitting at the 4-yard line. However, Settle would fumble on the following play which resulted in a turnover.
The Skyhawks would take over at the 4-yard line. Carr quickly hit Sims for a 13-yard gain, and then followed up with a 52-yard bomb to wide receiver Corey Jordan. Carr then handed the ball to McNair who proceeded to throw back to Carr. Carr ran the ball into the end zone, however he fumbled near the pylon, which resulted in a touchback. NIU would take over at the 20-yard line.
Lynch led the Huskies in another spectacular drive, which resulted in a 32-yard touchdown run by Lynch. NIU increased their lead to 28-0 with two minutes remaining in the third quarter.
After the kick, Carr connected with Sims for a 20-yard gain, which was followed by a 15-yard personal foul on the Huskies. The Skyhawks made it to the 9-yard line before the final minutes of the third quarter ticked away.