KENT, Ohio – Kent State couldn't apply the breaks to the power running of Cameron Stingily during a 38-24 loss to Northern Illinois in Saturday's rematch of last year's Mid-American Conference Championship Game.
Stingliy barged his way through the Golden Flashes' defense for a career-high 266 yards on 37 attempts, including touchdown runs of 17 yards in the first quarter and 1 yard in the second quarter. The big day for the converted linebacker, who was the presumptive backup to the injured Akeem Daniels prior to the season, helped the Huskies out-gain Kent State 454-to-147 on the ground.
In all, Northern Illinois offense enjoyed the eighth best day by an offense Mid-American Conference history with 698 yards on 98 plays compared to just 392 on 61 plays for Kent State. And still, the Golden Flashes had a chance late in the fourth quarter.
A bid to cut the Huskies' lead to just one possession ended with 4:17 to play when a fourth-down pass by Reardon was tipped before falling incomplete at the Northern Illinois 9-yard line.
Backup running-back James Spencer put Northern Illinois ahead for good with a 22-yard touchdown run at 7:25 mark of the third quarter.
The Huskies added to their lead when star quarterback Jordan Lynch tacked on an 11-yard touchdown pass to Spencer with 13:08 to play. A 31-yard field goal by Matthew Sims closed the scoring.
Lynch finished with 244 yards on 24-for-35 passing, including a 53-yard touchdown pass to Da'Ron Brown midway through the second quarter. He also ran for 94 yards on 14 attempts.
"That's a good football team, and that's a good offense," said Haynes. "They move the ball on a lot of people. There were times when we did a good job of stopping them, but there were also times when we needed to get off of the field on third down. They'd make a play a play and we didn't.
"The thing that makes them effective is the fact that you have to account for the quarterback," said Haynes. "We'd make a couple of plays on Stingily, and then Lynch runs down the middle of the field. Jordan Lynch is a great player, but Jordan Lynch didn't kill us today."
Poor tackling by Kent State's defense prolonged the difficult day.
"(Stingily) is a really good player," said Wollet. "Him being a big back, that's part of the reason we were worn down a little bit. But I love the way we were still fighting to the end."