DeKALB, Ill. - Chad Spann ran for 101 yards and three second-half touchdowns to lead Northern Illinois to a 33-7 Mid-American Conference win over Central Michigan on Saturday.
NIU improved to 6-2 overall, 4-0 in the MAC with the victory. CMU fell to 2-6 overall, 1-4 in the conference.
NIU led 9-7 at halftime after Michael Cklamovski kicked three short field goals--25, 21 and 24 yards--and the Huskies' defense forced three CMU turnovers.
The Chippewas answered Cklamovski's first field goal with a six-play, 80-yard touchdown drive. Carl Volny's 24-yard run on first down jump-started the drive, and Ryan Radcliff was 3-for-3 through the air for 39 yards on the march, including an 11-yard scoring pass to Kito Poblah. David Harman's point-after gave CMU a 7-3 lead less than a minute into the second quarter.
NIU took over at the CMU 36-yard line following an exchange of punts, and a 28-yard pass from Chandler Harnish to Nathan Palmer gave the Huskies first-and-goal at the 8, but the CMU defense held and forced Cklamovski to kick his second field goal.
A 24-yard completion from Radcliff to Cody Wilson moved the Chippewas to the NIU 38-yard line on the ensuing possession, but a personal foul penalty after the play moved the ball back to the CMU 47-yard line. Two plays later, Radcliff's screen pass to Volny was deflected and intercepted by NIU's Tyrone Clark. The Huskies capitalized on the turnover with Cklamovski's third field goal and led 9-7 with 2:44 left in the halftime.
The Chippewas drove to the NIU 26-yard line on the final possession of the half, but Radcliff was intercepted by Clark with 25 seconds left to end the threat.
Spann took over in the second half, scoring on runs of 13 yards and 12 yards in the third quarter to stretch the Huskies lead to 23-7. He added a 2-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter, and Cklamovski kicked a 19-yard field goal to provide the final margin.
Radcliff finished 17-of-25 passing for 178 yards. He was intercepted three times. Wilson caught a career-high 11 passes for 115 yards, while Volny finished with 74 rushing yards on 11 carries.
Harnish completed 12-of-19 passes for 138 yards and rushed 11 times for 69 yards. Cameron Bell added 82 rushing yards on 12 carries for NIU.
The Chippewas close the month of October at home next weekend, hosting Bowling Green at 3:30 p.m.