GAMEDAY College Football

Northern Illinois 34, Eastern Illinois 27

Associated Press

DEKALB, Ill. - Rocky Lombardi threw for 192 yards to six different receivers and Northern Illinois used a balanced running attack to hold off Eastern Illinois 34-27.

Eastern Illinois scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter and threatened at game's end. Northern Illinois' Josh Richardson missed a 43-yard field goal to the right with 58 seconds left, killing a chance for a 10-point lead.

Eastern Illinois quarterback Jonah O'Brien then led a six-play, 39-yard drive to get the Panthers to Northern Illinois' 44-yard line before time ran out. A sophomore, O'Brien threw for 276 yards and three scores and two interceptions.

The Huskies never trailed. They built a 21-6 lead at halftime and extended it to 28-6 when Lombardi threw a 13-yard score to Liam Soraghan to end an eight-play, 64-yard drive with 5:59 left in the third.

O'Brien responded heading scoring drives of 85 and 74 yards, respectively. He threw a 13-yard score to Justin Thomas with 9:58 left and an 8-yarder to Jay Vallie with 2:04 remaining.


Scoring Summary
First Quarter EastIlNIU
NIU TD 10:41 Harrison Waylee 1 yard TD run (John Richardson Extra Point) 0 7
EastIl FG 0:20 Stone Galloway 34 yard field goal 3 7
Second Quarter EastIlNIU
NIU TD 11:48 Mason Blakemore 19 yard TD run (John Richardson Extra Point) 3 14
NIU TD 11:27 Antario Brown 35 yard TD run (John Richardson Extra Point) 3 21
EastIl FG 0:04 Stone Galloway 25 yard field goal 6 21
Third Quarter EastIlNIU
NIU TD 5:59 Liam Soraghan 13 yard TD pass from Rocky Lombardi (John Richardson Extra Point) 6 28
EastIl TD 2:43 Jaelin Benefield 24 yard TD pass from Jonah O'Brien (Stone Galloway Extra Point) 13 28
Fourth Quarter EastIlNIU
NIU FG 12:15 John Richardson 43 yard field goal 13 31
EastIl TD 9:58 Justin Thomas 13 yard TD pass from Jonah O'Brien (Stone Galloway Extra Point) 20 31
NIU FG 3:39 John Richardson 38 yard field goal 20 34
EastIl TD 2:04 Jay Vallie 8 yard TD pass from Jonah O'Brien (Stone Galloway Extra Point) 27 34
Team Stats
  Eastern Illinois Northern Illinois
First downs 25 20
  Rushing 7 7
  Passing 16 10
  Penalty 2 3
3rd Down Efficiency 8-12, 67% 6-11, 55%
4th down efficiency 0-1, 0% 0-0, -%
Rushes-Yards 30-165 34-184
Passing Yards 276 192
Return Yards 61 71
Completions-Attempts-Int 25-35-2 14-22-0
Sacks-Yards Lost 2-11 1-0
Punts 1 2
Fumbles Lost 0-0 0-0
Penalties - Yards 9-73 7-73
Eastern Illinois Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
J. O'Brien 25 34 276 3 2
Northern Illinois Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
R. Lombardi 14 22 192 1 0
Eastern Illinois Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
M. Pierre 14 100 7.1 0
J. Benefield 10 63 6.3 0
J. O'Brien 6 2 0.3 0
Northern Illinois Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
H. Waylee 14 80 5.7 1
A. Brown 13 70 5.4 1
M. Blakemore 5 35 7.0 1
R. Lombardi 1 0 0.0 0
Eastern Illinois Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
J. Thomas 6 83 13.8 1
J. Benefield 4 57 14.3 1
N. Hill 4 39 9.8 0
C. Willman 1 34 34.0 0
D. Cooks Jr. 3 32 10.7 0
A. Manaves 5 22 4.4 0
J. Vallie 1 8 8.0 1
J. Cooper Jr 1 1 1.0 0
Northern Illinois Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
S. Thornton 6 81 13.5 0
C. Tucker 4 67 16.8 0
G. Gumbs 1 13 13.0 0
L. Soraghan 1 13 13.0 1
M. Joiner 1 11 11.0 0
H. Waylee 1 7 7.0 0
Eastern Illinois Interceptions
Player Int Yards
Northern Illinois Interceptions
Player Int Yards
E. Rogers 2 0
Eastern Illinois Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
T. Wilhoit 1 54 54.0
Northern Illinois Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
T. Foley 2 85 42.5
Eastern Illinois Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
Northern Illinois Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
C. Tucker 1 5 5.0
Eastern Illinois Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
J. Benefield 3 45 15.0
R. Dandy 1 16 16.0
Northern Illinois Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
M. Blakemore 4 66 16.5
Eastern Illinois Missed FG
Player Length
Northern Illinois Missed FG
Player Length
J. Richardson 43




Percival Menswear
D1SportsNet