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Northern Illinois Huskies at Eastern Michigan Eagles football: Huskies rally to knock off Eagles, 31-24

Trailing by three scores at the half, and without their starting quarterback, Northern Illinois began one of the biggest comebacks of the season.

NCAA Football: Toledo at Northern Illinois Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

All looked down.

30 minutes in, the Northern Illinois Huskies looked well on their way to loss number 8.

The Huskies had lost their starting quarterback, as well as their team leader in tackles in the first half.

They also trailed 21-0.

But still, that wasn’t enough put them away.

NIU sprung out of the gates in the second half, scoring on a 60-yard touchdown run by Jordan Huff on their first play of the final half.

The Huskies’ defense was then up to the test, stopping Eastern Michigan on multiple occasions. That led to offensive chances for the Huskies, which they took full advantage of.

Back-up quarterback and redshirt freshman Daniel Santacaterina tossed a 74-yard touchdown pass to Aregeros Turner to make it a 21-14 game with 5:32 left in the third quarter.

After adding a field goal on another short drive, Northern Illinois was positioned perfectly for a chance to take their first lead.

And, that they did. A 7-play drive was capped off by a 27-yard TD run by Huff to give the Huskies a 24-21 advantage in the fourth quarter.

Both teams had opportunities to take control of the game, but Eastern Michigan quarterback Brogan Roback threw an interception while driving to take a lead lead, and NIU missed a 47-yard field goal that would have given them a six-point lead.

EMU would find a way to tie it up, however. A late drive was finished with a 24-yard field goal by Paul Fricano with just 43 seconds remaining.

Despite moving the ball to almost midfield, NIU was not able to break the deadlock before the clock hit zero.

In overtime, the Huskies proved once again that the third time is the charm.

EMU won the coin toss for overtime and chose to go on defense. NIU scored on their first possession, with Huff scoring from two yards out on second and goal.

After that, NIU’s defense came up with a big stop, holding Roback short of the first down marker on 4th and 1, and sealing the victory.

Next up for the Huskies: a trip to Kent State. As for Easter Michigan, they finish up by hosting Central Michigan next week.