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NIU starts slowly, surges to victory

NOrthern illinois 43, eastern illinois 39

E. Illinois 20 0 6 13—39

N. Illinois 6 17 10 10—43

First Quarter

EIU—Lora 14 pass from Garoppolo (pass failed), 12:21.

EIU—Drake 43 pass from Garoppolo (Berra kick), 12:08.

EIU—Gober 13 pass from Garoppolo (Berra kick), 7:36.

NIU—Stingily 5 run (kick failed), 5:17.

Second Quarter

NIU—Stingily 5 run (Sims kick), 14:08.

NIU—Eakes 3 pass from Lynch (Sims kick), 9:18.

NIU—FG Sims 18, :05.

Third Quarter

NIU—Harris 9 run (Sims kick), 10:17.

EIU—Lora 33 pass from Garoppolo (run failed), 7:45.

NIU—FG Sims 33, 2:50.

Fourth Quarter

EIU—Drake 15 pass from Garoppolo (Berra kick), 14:55.

NIU—FG Sims 37, 11:24.

EIU—Lora 10 pass from Garoppolo (kick failed), 9:53.

NIU—Harris 8 run (Sims kick), 8:25.

A—23,595.

TEAM STATS EIU NIU

First downs 27 31

Rushes-yards 34-127 52-367

Passing 450 235

Comp-Att-Int 34-49-2 21-30-2

Return Yards 0 12

Punts-Avg. 4-38.3 2-42.5

Fumbles-Lost 1-0 1-1

Penalties-Yards 14-126 14-119

Time of Possession 28:03 31:57

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING—EIU, Little 12-81, Duncan 13-64, Grugier-Hill 1-4, Garoppolo 8-(minus 22). NIU, Lynch 23-189, Stingily 21-134, Harris 6-25, Lewis 1-12, McIntosh 1-7.

PASSING—EIU, Garoppolo 34-49-2-450. NIU, Lynch 21-30-2-235.

RECEIVING—EIU, Lora 14-198, Drake 8-137, LePak 5-68, Duncan 3-25, Gober 2-18, R.Meyer 1-7, Little 1-(minus 3). NIU, Lewis 9-82, D.Brown 7-99, Eakes 2-24, Maxwell 1-15, Stingily 1-9, Harris 1-6.

NORTHERN ILLINOIS (3-0)

Aug. 31 at Iowa W, 30-27

Sept. 14 at Idaho W, 45-35

Sept. 21 Eastern Illinois W, 43-39

Sept. 28 at Purdue 11 a.m.

Oct. 5 at Kent St. 2:30 p.m.

Oct. 12 Akron 4 p.m.

Oct. 19 at Central Michigan 2 p.m.

Oct. 26 E. Michigan 2:30 p.m.

Nov. 2 at UMass 11 a.m.

Nov. 13 Ball State 7 p.m.

Nov. 20 at Toledo 7 p.m.

Nov. 26 W. Michigan 6 p.m.

Updated: October 23, 2013 6:49AM



Eastern Illinois and its high-powered offense pulled out all the tricks and gave Northern Illinois everything it had in the Huskies’ home opener on Saturday.

EIU took a late lead as quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo found Erik Lora in the back corner of the end zone for 10-yard touchdown and a three-point lead with 9:53 remaining.

But on the next possession, NIU running back Cameron Stingily rumbled 46 yards, setting up an eight-yard touchdown run by Keith Harris Jr., and the Huskies held on to win 43-39.

It was the 22nd consecutive win at Huskie Stadium for NIU (3-0).

Eastern Illinois (3-1) wasted little time getting on the board, and EIU coach Dino Babers made it clear the Panthers weren’t going to play it safe, either.

Garoppolo completed seven of his first eight passes, including a 14-yard touchdown to Lora, leading the Panthers on a 75-yard touchdown drive on its first possession.

After EIU recovered the onside kick, Garoppolo fired a 44-yard touchdown to Adam Drake on a post pattern to put Eastern Illinois up 13-0.

“You don’t beat a team like this playing straight up and playing by the rules,” Babers said. “If you’re going to come up and beat a team like this, you’re going to have to bend the rules a little bit and that’s what we were doing.”

The Panthers forced a quick three-and-out, converted its second fourth down of the night, and Garoppolo found Keiondre Gober for a 13-yard touchdown and a 20-0 lead.

“I don’t know if it was a slow start by us as much as a fast start by them,” NIU coach Rod Carey said.

A late Huskie drive ended in a Mat Sims field goal to give the Huskies their first lead of the game, 23-20, at the half After a Jimmie Ward interception, the Huskies’ second of the game, NIU marched 79 yards in eight plays and Harris finished the drive with a nine-yard touchdown run to put NIU up 10.



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