Northern Illinois holds off Eastern Michigan 27-20

DEKALB, Ill. (AP) — Antario Brown rushed for 101 yards and Northern Illinois scored the game’s first 17 points then held on to defeat Eastern Michigan 27-20 on Saturday in a game delayed by lightning between the first and second quarters.

The Huskies (3-2, 1-0 Mid-American Conference) built their lead on a 5-yard run by quarterback Rocky Lombardi, a 28-yard field goal from John Richardson and Jaden Dolphin’s 59-yard interception return.

The Huskies led 17-3 at halftime and did not give up the lead although Eastern Michigan’s Ben Bryant threw touchdown passes of 42 yards to Bryson Cannon and 17 yards to Dylan Drummond in the third quarter. Clint Ratkovich’s 2-yard run in the third helped Northern Illinois maintain the lead at 24-17 and the teams traded field goals late in the fourth quarter.

Bryant completed 27 of 40 passes for 338 yards with the two touchdowns and the interception. Hassan Beydoun caught 14 passes for 167 yards, but the Eagles (3-2, 0-1) had only 38 yards rushing.

The Huskies rushed for 242 yards and Lombardi was only 9-of-20 passing for 84 yards.

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