Northern Illinois rallies late to edge Army
ASSOCIATED PRESS September 16, 2012 12:00AM
Martel Moore makes a catch over Army defender Tyler Dickson during the game-winning drive. | Craig Ruttle~AP
Updated: October 17, 2012 6:50AM
WEST POINT, N.Y. — Needing another rally with a seesaw road game up for grabs, Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch knew just who to look for.
He found him — and in the nick of time.
Down 40-35 with 4:29 to play, Lynch connected with a streaking Martel Moore from eight yards out — their second touchdown of the afternoon — and the Huskies sent Army to its fifth consecutive home-opening defeat 41-40 on Saturday.
Northern Illinois (2-1) made its first visit to Michie Stadium in 20 years a happy one despite trailing 40-35 with 8:55 to play.
“When the game’s on the line, we try to go to our playmakers,” said Lynch, who had 342 yards and four touchdowns on 18-for-27 passing. “Martel’s our playmaker out there. I just gave him a chance. He was in rhythm and made a nice catch.”
Moore had 134 receiving and Lynch added 125 on the ground as Northern Illinois used a potent passing game to counter Army’s triple-option.
Larry Dixon had three scores on 136 yards rushing and Trent Steelman had two touchdowns on 116 yards rushing for the Black Knights (0-2), while Raymond Maples added a touchdown and 159 yards. It was Army’s first game with three hundred-yard rushers since 1996.
“Our guys overcame a lot in that game to win,” said Huskies coach Dave Doeren, whose team notched its first victory in a road opener in five years. “They found a way to get it done. I’m excited to be able to run and pass the ball, the balance we had.”
Northern Illinois led 28-13 late in the first half.
Army got the ball back with 4:29 left in the game on its 25, but the Huskies snuffed Trent Steelman’s keeper attempt on fourth-and-3 with 1:52 to go to ice the win.
Army led 34-28 in the fourth when Lynch connected with Moore on a 31-yard touchdown pass to go ahead 35-34.
The Black Knights went back ahead 40-35 on Steelman’s 15-yard run — set up by a Mike Ugenyi fumble recovery to put the Black Knights deep in the red zone — before a missed conversion attempt with 8:55 left.
“This stadium is a place not many people come in and win,” Doeren said. “I saw how many rushing yards they had on their Jumbotron. I went to the defense and said, ‘Don’t look at the scoreboard. No one’s going to remember what it says if we win.’ ”