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Published: 10/21/2001

MAC football roundup: NIU upsets WMU; Leftwich, Roethlisberger have big games

ASSOCIATED PRESS

DEKALB, Ill. - Thomas Hammock ran for 139 yards and a touchdown to lead Northern Illinois to a 20-12 victory yesterday over Western Michigan.

The Huskies (3-4, 1-3 Mid-American Conference) went ahead for good 14-12 in the third quarter when Vince Thompson intercepted a pass and ran 32 yards for a TD.

The Broncos (4-3, 3-1) went up 12-0 on a 13-yard passing touchdown from Jonathan Drach to Micah Zuhl, a safety when Northern quarterback Chris Finlen fumbled in the end zone and a 35-yard field goal by red-shirt freshman Robert Menchinger.

Then Northern scored three minutes before halftime when Hammock ran five yards to trim Western's lead to 12-7.

Steve Azar kicked field goals of 18 and 23 yards in the second half for the Huskies.

Finlen had a miserable day passing, going 9-of-17 for only 86 yards. He also was sacked four times. But the Huskies got 171 net yards on the ground.

Drach was 15-of-32 passing for 170 yards. He threw four interceptions and was sacked three times.

MARSHALL 42,

CENTRAL MICHIGAN 21

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Byron Leftwich threw for a career-high 471 yards and three touchdowns for Marshall.

Leftwich surpassed 450 yards for the second straight week in which he has picked apart two of the MAC's top pass defenses. He completed 30 of 44 passes.

Marshall (5-1, 4-0 MAC) scored 42 consecutive points and amassed 647 total yards against the Chippewas (2-4, 1-3). It was the most yards for the Herd since compiling 631 last year against Buffalo.

It marked the second time in Marshall history that a quarterback surpassed 400 yards passing in consecutive games. Michael Payton did it against Appalachian State and Western Carolina in 1992. Payton holds the school record of 496 yards against VMI in 1991.

Leftwich, a junior, threw for 455 yards last week at Buffalo.

He rushed for 25 yards yesterday to finish with 496 all-purpose yards, breaking Payton's mark of 493 set against VMI.

Marshall's Franklin Wallace ran for scores of 6 and 12 yards to put the Herd ahead 21-7 midway through the third quarter.

Marshall's Josh Davis caught 10 passes for 175 yards while Darius Watts, who entered the game fourth in Division I-A with 678 yards, had nine catches for 183 yards.

Central Michigan's Terrence Jackson rushed 27 times for 107 yards, his third-straight 100-yard game.

MIAMI 36, OHIO 24

ATHENS, Ohio - Ben Roethlisberger tied a school record with five touchdown passes, including two in the fourth quarter for Miami.

The victory kept the RedHawks (5-2, 4-0 MAC) tied with Marshall atop the East Division.

Roethlisberger, a red-shirt freshman, completed 24-of-37 passes for 322 yards and tied the single-game TD record set by Sam Ricketts against Akron in 1995.

Joe Sherrill scored on runs of 12 and 3 yards and quarterback Dontrell Jackson added a five-yard rushing score to give the Bobcats (1-5, 1-3) a 21-14 halftime lead.

Roethlisberger kept Miami in the game with first-half scoring passes of 4 and 11 yards.

Andy Brumbergs extended Ohio's lead with a third-quarter field goal, But Roethlisberger's TD passes of 23, 15 and 30 yards carried Miami to the victory.

Jackson rushed for 103 yards and completed 3-of-8 passes for 22 yards.

KENT STATE 35, BUFFALO 13

KENT, Ohio - Joshua Cribbs passed for 194 yards and two touchdowns for Kent State.

Cribbs threw a 26-yard touchdown pass to Jurron Kelly in the first quarter and a 10-yard scoring pass to Kelly in the second.

David Alston put the Golden Flashes (3-4, 1-2 MAC) ahead 7-0 early in the first quarter with a four-yard run. After Dallas Pelz got the Bulls (1-6, 0-4 MAC) on the board with a 33-yard field goal, Kent scored 21 unanswered points to go up 28-3. James Harrison returned an interception 26 yards for a touchdown between Kelly's two TD catches.

Buffalo's only TD came on a 50-yard pass from Joe Freedy to Matt Knueven with 45 seconds to go in the first half.

Kent State held Buffalo to 80 yards rushing and 273 yards overall. Kent rolled up 262 yards on the ground and 432 overall.



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