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Spann, Huskies Defeat Gophers 34-23

(Sports Network) – Chad Spann rushed for 223 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries to power the Northern Illinois Huskies to a 34-23 road triumph over the Minnesota Golden Gophers in a non-conference contest.

Chandler Harnish threw a pair of touchdown passes for Northern Illinois (2-2).

Adam Weber threw for 373 yards and two touchdowns in the disappointing loss for Minnesota (1-3).

Minnesota broke a scoreless tie in the first quarter with a 28-yard field goal by Eric Ellestad. That kick capped a 13-play, 65-yard drive.

Less than three minutes later, Northern Illinois grabbed a 7-3 lead on the strength of a three-yard touchdown run by Spann.

The Huskies pushed their edge to 10-3 with a 21-yard field goal by Michael Cklamovski.

Minnesota tied the game at 10-10 midway through the second quarter on a 20- yard touchdown pass from Weber to Da’Jon McKnight. Just over a minute later, the Gophers gained a 13-10 lead with a 42-yard Ellestad field goal.

Northern Illinois managed to knot the count at 13-13 with a 35-yard Cklamovski field goal with 2:37 left in the opening half. Then, with just three seconds remaining on the clock, Chandler Harnish tossed a 10-yard touchdown pass to Martel Moore, giving the Huskies a 20-13 edge at intermission.

The only points of the third quarter came on a 21-yard Ellestad field goal, slicing the Minnesota deficit to 20-16.

Just over a minute into the fourth quarter, NIU pushed its lead to 27-16 with a two-yard touchdown toss from Harnish to Connor Flahive. Spann then put the game away with a 61-yard touchdown scamper, making the score 34-16 in favor of the visitors.

Minnesota did cut its deficit to 34-23 with 4:18 remaining in the game on a 29-yard touchdown pass from Weber to Marqueis Gray, but the Golphers were held out of the end zone for the remainder of the tilt.

Northern Illinois won the game despite a 470-378 disadvantage in total yardage.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.