MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. - Central Michigan has claimed three of the Mid-American Conference's annual…
CMU Beats NIU, Completes Perfect MAC Season
The 12-yard reception from Dan LeFevour with 12:10 remaining in the first quarter was his 274th career reception, the second most in school history and third most in Mid-American Conference history. The previous record of 51 straight games with a reception was shared by Taurean Henderson (Texas Tech) and Michael Larkin (Miami, Ohio).
The Chippewas (10-2, 8-0 MAC) went on to take a 7-0 lead on the drive and a 10-0 lead by the end of the first quarter.
The Huskies (7-5, 5-3 MAC) got on the board midway through the second quarter on a 30-yard field goal, but the Chippewas responded with an 11-play, 80-yard drive that concluded with a 16-yard touchdown pass to Kito Poblah to put CMU up 17-3 with 6:29 left in the half.
Northern Illinois needed just three plays to come within seven again, 17-10, but Central extended its lead to two touchdowns on Bryan Schroeder's second touchdown of the half, a 5-yard run less than a minute before halftime.
On the first play of the second half, Schroeder broke through the line for an 80-yard touchdown run, and Anderson added a 16-yard touchdown reception midway through the quarter to put the Chippewas up, 38-10. The scoring play was LeFevour's 146th touchdown of his career, tying him with Graham Harrell (Texas Tech) and Colt Brennan (Hawaii) for the most touchdowns in a Bowl Subdivision career.
With Central leading by what appeared to be a comfortable margin, LeFevour started the fourth quarter on the bench, but an 80-yard interception return by the Huskies' Patrick George caused LeFevour to re-enter the game and sparked 21 fourth-quarter points for Northern Illinois.
The Huskies came within 14, 38-24, at the 8:25 mark and were threatening to make it even closer when Frank Zombo intercepted a pass and returned it for a touchdown and a 45-24 Chippewa lead. NIU added one more score with 2:03 remaining, but CMU recovered the ensuing on-side kick and was able to run out the clock.
Schroeder totaled 128 yards and two touchdowns on just nine carries as the Chippewas outgained the Huskies 257-126 on the ground. LeFevour, meanwhile, completed 27 of his 41 pass attempts for 255 yards and three touchdowns, including four completions for 41 yards and a touchdown to Schroeder.
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