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updated: 10/15/2011 8:37 PM

Chandler Harnish, Huskies steamroll Western Michigan

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  • Chandler Harnish ran for 229 yards on 14 carries and was 14-of-27 passing for 203 yards.

    Chandler Harnish ran for 229 yards on 14 carries and was 14-of-27 passing for 203 yards.
    Courtesy of Northern Illinois University

Special to the Daily Herald

Chandler Harnish was an unstoppable one-man wrecking crew Saturday afternoon.

The senior quarterback rushed for 229 yards on 14 carries and was 14-of-27 passing for 203 yards, leading host Northern Illinois to a come-from-behind 51-22 triumph over Western Michigan at Huskie Stadium.

NIU won its 13th straight home game to improve to 4-3 overall and 2-1 in the Mid-American Conference.

The Huskies, who rolled up 697 yards of total offense that included 494 rushing yards, trailed 15-13 at intermission before blitzing the Broncos (4-3, 2-1) by a 38-7 margin in the second half.

"At halftime, we got it together," said Huskies coach Dave Doeren. "We were a touchdown team. We had a couple take-aways on defense. I'm proud of our offensive line. Any time you run for 494 yards, that's a statement about your toughness. As a football team, we want to wear people down, play great defense, be fresh in the fourth quarter. To have two QBs go over 100 yards rushing in a game was fun for me to see."

Sophomore quarterback Jordan Lynch gained 113 yards on 10 carries and scored on a 66-yard run.

Senior running back Jasmin Hopkins picked up 91 yards on 14 carries and scored 3 touchdowns, and Akeem Daniels had touchdown runs of 2 yards and 8 yards.

Senior wide receiver Nathan Palmer led the Huskies with 7 catches for 89 yards. Senior linebacker Pat Schiller from Geneva recorded a team-best 10 tackles and safety Demetrius Stone had an interception.

Harnish's performance marked the 11th time in NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision history that a player has recorded 200 yards passing and rushing.

The Huskies' 697 yards was the second-most in school history, behind only an 806-yard performance against Fresno State on Oct. 6, 1990.

Sophomore place-kicker Mathew Sims connected on field goals of 30, 36 and 25 yards and added 6 PATs.

"I've been telling these guys all year, 'When you click on all three cylinders together at once, you are going to see something you haven't seen yet' and they did it," Doeren said. "We're an experienced team on offense. We're a young team on defense. We're young on special teams. It is going to take time to be who they want to be, but they understand the temperament, the demeanor, the expectations. To watch them lead each other today, it was fun."

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