We have ourselves a game ladies and gentlemen. Northern Illinois' home opener against the Eastern Illinois Panthers is easily living up to the title of Game of The Week.
It's been a tale of two quarters, with EIU and stud quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo jumping out to a commanding 20-0 lead. Grappolo has lived up to all the pregame hype. The senior quarterback threw three touchdowns in the first seven minutes of the game as he proved to be too much for the Huskie secondary to handle.
After fumbling the first kickoff the Huskies received, EIU recovered the ball, and on the very next play Garoppolo hooked up with Adam Drake on a 43-yard score 30 seconds after he tossed a 14-yard touchdown to Erik Lora to cap a nine play, 75 yard drive.
On the flip side, the Panthers defense had little trouble causing problems for NIU's offense and Jordan Lynch to start the game. EIU caused NIU to go three and out on its first possession of the game, already trailing 13-0, and followed it up with another Garoppolo touchdown, this time on a 13 yard pass to Keiondre Gober.
But Northern Illinois is too good to be counted out. Lynch and running back Cameron Stingily marched the Huskies down the field, with Stingily finishing off the drive by bulldozing his way into the endzone with just over five minutes left in the first quarter. NIU picked off Garoppolo on the next possession and Lynch wasted no time marching his offense down the field. Stingily capped off the drive with his second five yard touchdown, and a few minutes later Lynch found Luke Eakes in the endzone to tie the game at 20-20.
Matthew Sims knocked an 18-yard field goal through with five second left in the half to give NIU the 23-20 lead.
Both teams have been able to move the ball down the field with relative ease, and have proven their offenses can put up points. The Huskies have the momentum, but as long as Garoppolo is still on the field, you can't count the Panthers out.