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Northern Illinois turns it on in second half to beat Western Michigan

Updated: November 29, 2012 6:50AM



KALAMAZOO, Mich. — For whatever reason, the second half is kind to Northern Illinois.

It was evident again Saturday, when the Huskies scored 31 points after halftime to earn a 48-34 victory against Western Michigan.

With NIU (8-1, 5-0 Mid-American Conference) trailing 21-14 in the closing seconds of the first half, coach Dave Doeren sent kicker Mathew Sims onto the field to try a 54-yard field goal. The kick barely cleared the crossbar, and Sims had himself a school-record.

‘‘I wasn’t sure he could get it there, but I didn’t want to throw it incomplete and walk in with no points, either,’’ Doeren said. ‘‘Just to get three points going in to have something positive to talk about [was big]. Because it wasn’t a very positive first half for us.’’

From there, the offense rolled and the defense held the Broncos (3-6, 1-4) to 13 second-half points, all of which came when the game was already in hand.

Quarterback Jordan Lynch provided most of the Huskies’ offense once again, throwing for 274 yards and four touchdowns and running for 136 yards and two more scores. He was helped by receivers Martel Moore, Tommylee Lewis and Da’Ron Brown. Lewis and Brown each caught two touchdown passes, and Moore finished with 120 receiving yards.

It was the fourth time this season NIU had come back in the second half to earn a victory. Defensive end Sean Progar, who had three sacks and three tackles for loss, said the Huskies make the right adjustments at halftime, then go out and execute.

‘‘We put in too much work to give up, so we’re definitely going to come out and give it our all in the second half,’’ he said.



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