DEKALB – Thomas Hammock earned his first win as NIU head football coach as the Huskies defeated Illinois State, 24-10, in DeKalb Saturday night.
Transfer quarterback Ross Bowers completed 20 of his 33 passes for 299 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. Tre Harbison lead the way on the ground with 99 yards on 23 carries, with Tyrice Ritchie doing the heavy lifting through the air with 102 receiving yards on just three catches, two of them for touchdowns.
Rockford Lutheran graduate James Robinson was stymied by the NIU defense, amassing just 26 yards of offense for the Redbirds. ISU was held to 238 yards of total offense on the night.
A defensive struggle unfolded in the first half, with the game tied at 3 after two quarters. A 22-yard Bowers to Ritche touchdown connection capped a 92-yard NIU drive in the third quarter before the two teams combined for three touchdowns in the fourth.
NIU now embarks on a three-game road trip against Power 5 competition, starting with a visit to Utah next Saturday afternoon.