“We’re obviously really . . .
Bouagnon became the eighth player in Huskie history with five-or-more rushing touchdowns in a game and the first since Garrett Wolfe had five touchdowns against Western Michigan on Nov. 23, 2005.
Bowling Green (1-8, 0-5 MAC) answered right back, with the benefit of a pair of NIU penalties, to even the game, 7-7. James Morgan connected with Scott Miller from two yards out to pull the Falcons even with 4:39 left in the first quarter.
Bouagnon scored his second touchdown of the night as NIU regained the lead, 14-7, late in the first quarter. The Huskies marched 80 yards in 11 plays as Bouagnon scored from a yard out to push NIU back in front. Maddie was 5-of-6 passing on the drive for 53 yards, including three completions to Turner.
Maddie finished the night 20-of-29 passing for 185 yards while also rushing for 93 yards on 14 carries; Turner recorded five catches for 56 yards. Senior Kenny Golladay recorded a game-high nine catches for 59 yards, while the Huskie defense allowed a season-low 314 yards of total offense and held Bowling Green to 90 rushing yards. Senior defensive end Austin Smaha had a pair of sacks in the contest and forced two fumbles.
Early in the second quarter, junior Christian Hagan connected on a 41-yard field goal as the Huskies pushed their lead to 17-7.
Bowling Green trimmed the lead back to 17-13, but Maddie answered with a two-yard touchdown run as the Huskies scored on their fourth-straight possession to begin the game, taking a 24-13 lead midway through the second quarter. Maddie’s touchdown run finished a 15-play, 75-yard drive.
On its first drive of the second half, Bowling Green attempted a fake punt, but the pass from punter Joe Davidson was intercepted by junior Jackson Abresch, giving the Huskies the ball on the Falcon 24-yard line.
NIU needed just four plays to convert the turnover into points as Bouagnon scored again, this time from two yards out, and the Huskies took a 31-13 lead.
Bowling Green’s hope for a comeback remained alive as Morgan found Teo Redding for a five-yard touchdown completion with 3:03 left in the third quarter to cut the NIU advantage to 31-20
Morgan finished the contest 21-of-41 passing for 224 yards and three touchdowns.
The Huskies answered Bowling Green’s touchdown with a seven-play, 75-yard drive as Bouagnon scored his fourth TD of the night. Bouagnon’s 15-yard touchdown run gave NIU a 38-20 lead with less than a minute left in the third quarter.
Bouagnon then capped the scoring with his fifth touchdown, a six-yard score, in the closing moments of the fourth quarter as the Huskies earned the Senior Night victory.
“I thought he ran well,” Carey said of Bouagnon. “Actually, I talked to him earlier in the game. I thought he danced and left a couple cuts out there early on, but after that, I thought he really settled down. The emotion of Senior Night can sometimes do that, but then he settled down and played like he has all year. He’s played hard all year and that’s a credit to all the guys.”
NIU will return to action next Wednesday night, Nov. 9, when it hosts Toledo in the Huskie Chi-Town Showdown at Guaranteed Rate Field, the home of the Chicago White Sox. Kickoff against the Rockets is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT and the contest will be broadcast on ESPN2.
Bowling Green will also be back in action Nov. 9 at Akron (8 p.m. ET).
(Courtesy NIU Athletics)