DEKALB, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — Rocky Lombardi scored on a 1-yard plunge with 1:11 to play to lift Northern Illinois to a 20-13 win over Eastern Michigan on Saturday.
Lombardi capped a 15-play, 80-yard drive that chewed up 6-minutes, 47-seconds.
Grayson Barnes had the key play when he went up for a Lombardi pass for a 26-yard gain on 3rd-and-14 from the Huskies’ 38. Two snaps later Gavin Williams ripped off a 34-yard run to the 2 with 1:19 to play.
Lombardi then leaned into the line to gain a yard and knelt down on second down, both plays designed to force Eastern Michigan to burn its last two timeouts. Then Lombardi easily bulled into the end zone.
Devonte O’Malley’s interception near midfield wrapped up the game.
The teams traded 2-yard rushing touchdowns in the first quarter with Antario Brown scoring for Northern Illinois (4-4, 3-1 Mid-American Conference) and Samson Evans for the Eagles (4-4, 2-2).
And it was field goals in the second quarter, Eastern Michigan getting a 34-yard from Jesus Gomez and Kanon Woodill hitting from 35 yards for the Huskies with 14 seconds left in the half.
Gomez hit a 37-yarder midway through the third quarter and Woodill a 39-yard on the first play of the fourth quarter.
Eastern Michigan finished with 257 yards and two turnovers, interceptions thrown by Austin Smith who was 14 of 26 for 151 yards.
Northern Illinois had 289 yards. Lombardi was 21 of 33 for 173.