KENT, Ohio (NWN) — Dustin Crum passed for two touchdowns and reached for two scores, and Kent State used a 31-point second quarter to beat Northern Illinois 52-47 on Wednesday night.
Kent State ended a 10-game losing streak in the series, securing their first win against Northern Illinois since 2001.
Northern Illinois took a 7–0 lead after the first quarter but Kent State made four straight touchdown scoring drives in the second quarter, each taking less than 75 seconds to take a 31–21 lead at the break. The Golden Flashes finished with seven touchdowns, averaging 1:12 on the drive.
Nykeim Johnson added a quick and received touchdown for a 45-27 lead in the third quarter, and Marquez Cooper’s 36-yard touchdown made it 52-40. After getting NIU’s TD to within five points, Kent State chewed up the final 5:07 for their longest drive of the game.
The order was 20 out of 30 for 322 yards, and took it four times for 72 yards for Kent State (5-4, 4-1 Mid-American Conference). Cooper finished with a run of 173 yards and two scores, and Xavier Williams ran for 103. Dante Cephas took five catches for 124 yards.
Rocky Lombardi and Trayvon Rudolph each set program records for Northern Illinois (6–3, 4–1). Rudolph, who scored a 75-yard touchdown for the second week in a row, received 309 yards for Sam Heard’s 266 passes in 2005. Lombardi became the first player in program history to pass for 500 yards, completing 33 of 57-for 532 passes. yards and three points.
A helmet-to-helmet near the goal line helped Lombardi exit the field with a 5:15. When play resumed, Clint Ratkovic took a straight snap and made a 1-yard TD to pull within 52-47. Lombardi was later seen chatting with teammates.
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