John Richardson kicked a 32-yard field goal as time expired and Northern Illinois defeated Ball State 30-29 on Wednesday night in a game that saw three lead changes in the final three minutes.
Northern Illinois drove 69 yards in 14 plays to take a 27-26 lead with 2:42 to go in the fourth. The score came on a 10-yard run by Jay Ducker and culminated a drive in which the Huskies converted three third downs.
The Cardinals quickly drove to the Northern Illinois side of the field but their drive stalled at the 31 and Jacob Lewis kicked a 48-yard field goal for a 29-27 lead with 1:42 to go.
The Huskies raced back and reached the 10-yard line before backing up and setting up Richardson’s winning kick, his third field goal of the game.
The win keeps Northern Illinois (7-3, 5-1 Mid-American) in first place in the West Division with two games remaining in the regular season.
Ducker gained 155 yards rushing on 24 carries and Rocky Lombardi was 23-of-38 passing for 264 yards for the Huskies.
Carson Steele had 109 yards rushing on 21 carries and Drew Plitt completed 11 of 26 passes for 126 yards for Ball State (5-5, 3-3).