Recap: Idaho vs. Northern Ill
Moscow, ID (Sports Network) - Jordan Lynch was unstoppable as he carried the Northern Illinois Huskies to a 45-35 victory over the Idaho Vandals in a non- conference duel at the Kibbie Dome.
Lynch amassed 152 yards and three touchdowns on 17-of-29 passing and rushed 22 times for 159 yards a two more scores for NIU (2-0) as it collected its 15th consecutive regular season victory and 11th-straight true road win. Tommylee Lewis gained 104 yards on just four rushes and Cameron Stingily added 62 yards and a touchdown on 13 attempts. Lewis also made a team-high nine catches for 56 yards and Da'Ron Brown finished with five receptions for 57 yards and a touchdown.
Idaho (0-3) fell for the third time under first-year head coach Paul Petrino, who watched his squad get outscored, 82-16, as it fell to North Texas and Wyoming in his inaugural two games with the program. Chad Chalich completed 14-of-25 pass attempts for 236 yards and two touchdowns, but was sacked seven times. He constantly targeted Dezmon Epps, who tallied 106 yards on eight catches. James Baker scored a pair of touchdowns and amassed 73 yards on 19 carries.
Idaho struck first as Baker scored on a one-yard rush to finish off the opening drive of the contest. After both offenses went three-and-out, NIU answered as Lynch rushed five yards for a touchdown on the Huskies' second opportunity. Matthew Sims' converted his extra-point attempt to even the score at seven.
The Vandals created some distance on the scoreboard with back-to-back touchdown passes by Chalich, who came into the contest with only a single touchdown through the air through two games. The sophomore quarterback gave Idaho a 14-7 lead as he completed a 27-yard touchdown strike to Richard Montgomery at the 3:45 mark of the first quarter. Chalich then hooked up with Baker on a 37-yard scoring pass that gave the Vandals a two-touchdown lead early in the second quarter.
The Huskies ended the run less than a minute later as Lynch connected with Keith Harris for a 15-yard touchdown pass. Idaho came back with another big play just over three minutes later as Chalich scored on a 37-yard touchdown run.
NIU continued to fight back as it produced a 14-yard, 77-play drive that ended with a two-yard touchdown run by Cameron Stingily with 6:06 left before halftime.
The Huskies carried their momentum into the second half and Lynch continued to make big plays for the defending MAC champions. The senior quarterback completed a three-yard touchdown pass to Da'Ron Brown to tie the score at 28 just over five minutes after kickoff. Lynch then put NIU in front as he took off for a 61-yard touchdown run just past the midway point of the third quarter.
After both quarterbacks lost fumbles, Idaho stopped the run in opening seconds of the fourth frame as Baker punched it in from a yard out for a game-tying touchdown.
NIU went back in front less than two minutes later when Sims booted a 49-yard field goal attempt through the uprights. Sims was set up by NIU's defense, which recovered a Baker fumble that was forced by Boomer Mays. The Huskies added some insurance later as Lynch completed a 13-yard touchdown pass to Luke Eakes that gave them a 45-35 lead. Idaho was unable to put any more points on the board and suffered its ninth consecutive loss.
NIU now holds a 4-3 all-time series lead over Idaho. The Huskies held a 508-438 advantage in total yards of offense thanks to their nine sacks that netted 55 lost yards for Idaho. NIU was penalized 11 times for 107 yards.Game Notes