NIU vs WMU Game Recap

For the fourth time this season, the Western Michigan University Broncos found themselves falling short of a victory. After gaining over 334 yards of total offense in the first half, the Broncos only managed 65 total yards in the second half, dropping another heart breaking loss 20-24.

The Huskies sealed the victory when Randee Drew intercepted a Chad Munson pass with 18 seconds left in the game. The interception was Munson's 3rd in the game and the 2nd in as many drives. In the Broncos previous drive when Munson was picked off at the 50-yard line by Vince Thompson.

Neither team scored on their opening drives, after Northern Illinois received the opening kickoff. But on the Broncos second possession the Broncos scored on an 18-yard touchdown pass from Munson to Tony Scheffler. A 48-yard pass from Munson to Jermaine Lewis set up Scheffler's first career touchdown.

The next Broncos drive started at the WMU 15-yard line after two runs for 23 yards by Phil Reed, Chad Munson through an interception to a wide open Akil Grant. Grant returned the interception 35 yards to the Broncos 12-yard line. A face mask penalty moved the ball to the 6-yard line. The Huskies tied the game at 7-7 on a 5-yard pass from Josh Haldi to Matt Dunker.

The Huskies pulled ahead early in the 2nd quarter on a 66-yard touchdown pass from Haldi to Sam Hurd. The touchdown gave the Huskies a 14-7 lead.

The Broncos answered the Huskies following the kickoff with was downed in the endzone for a touchback. Reed took the hand off from Munson and rumbled down the field for an 80-yard touchdown run, tying the game at 14-14.

The Broncos regained the lead later on in the second quarter. Munson led the Broncos down to the Huskies 5-yard line before the drive stalled. Anthony Apa came in and converted a 22-yard field goal attempt.

The Broncos were threatening to score again late in the 2nd quarter after Reed rushed for a 63-yard gain and a Northern Illinois sideline interference penalty put the ball at the Huskies 6-yard line. But an Antonio Thomas fumble on a 2-yard pass completion from Munson ended the Broncos scoring threat.

The Broncos had a hard time getting started in the 2nd half. After 2 drives and two punts, the Broncos were forced to punt again on their 3rd drive. After being held to a three and out, the Huskies Kursten Strothman broke through the Broncos offensive line to block a Matt Steffen punt. Smith not only blocked the punt; he recovered it in the endzone for a Huskie touchdown and a 21-17 Huskie lead.

The Broncos pulled within 1 early in the 4th quarter when they settled for a 24-yard Apa field goal making the score 21-20 in favor of the Huskies.

The Huskies then chewed up 8:38 of the clock on a 19-play 65-yard drive that ended with a Steve Azar 30-yard field goal attempt giving the Huskies a 24-20 lead they would never relinquish.

The Broncos had two chances to win the game late in the 4th quarter but two interceptions including the interception to Randee sealed the Broncos fate in losing their 3rd consecutive home game. The Broncos suffered their 3rd consecutive loss of 4 points or less and their first home loss to the Huskies since 14-34 loss to the Huskies in 1987.

The Broncos did see their consecutive game streak in recording a sack go to 33 when Jason Babin sacked Haldi for a 6-yard loss early in the 1st quarter. Babin recorded two sacks in the game and increased his MAC leading sacks total to 12. Kendrick Mosley extended his consecutive game streak of recording a pass reception to 26.

Bronco running back Phil Reed had his 3rd career rushing game of the season. His 80-yard touchdown run was the longest of his career and his 226 rushing yards was also a career high.

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