RedHawks fall to NIU, 45-12

OXFORD, Ohio  – The Miami University football team (1-6; 0-3 Mid-American Conference) dropped a 45-12 decision to the Northern Illinois University Huskies (4-3; 2-1 MAC) on Saturday afternoon at Yager Stadium.

RedHawk freshman quarterback Billy Bahl completed 16 passes for 156 yards and a touchdown, while senior safety Brison Burris  and senior linebacker Kent Kern each recorded nine tackles for Miami. Kern’s tally included eight solo stops.

The Huskies scored 21 unanswered points in the first quarter off a trio of touchdowns. Joel Bouagnon scored on 22-yard rushes at the 11:48 mark and again with 1:32 to go in the opening quarter, while Drew Hare hit Tommylee Lewis on a 32-yard passing TD at the 9:00 mark. Christian Hagen converted all three PATs to lift the Huskies to an early 21-0 lead.

Miami put its first points on the board on a 36-yard field goal by Kaleb Patterson with 5:32 to go in the second quarter, and the teams went into the half with NIU leading 21-3.

Northern Illinois incurred a safety to open the second half as the Huskie kick returner fielded the ball on the NIU 1-yard line and went into the end zone where he took a knee.

On the ensuing Miami drive, NIU’s Shawun Lurry intercepted a Miami pass in the end zone and returned the ball 47 yards to the NIU. The Huskies scored on the following play, a 53-yard rush by Bouagnon, and a Hagan PAT handed NIU a 28-5 advantage with 9:36 to go in the third quarter. The Huskies tacked on a field goal with 2:28 remaining in the third quarter when Hagen connected on a 26-yard attempt.

The RedHawks notched their first touchdown of the game with 7:49 to go in the contest.  Christian Koch kicked a 33-yard punt that bounced up and hit an NIU player and was then recovered by Miami’s Josh Dooley on the NIU 34-yard line at the 11:43 mark of the fourth quarter. Bahl found junior wide receiver Fred McRae on a 25-yard pass that he ran into the end zone. It was McRae’s first career touchdown reception. Patterson’s PAT pulled the RedHawks to within 31-12 of the Huskies.

NIU added two final touchdowns to push their lead to 45-12. Jordan Huff ran the ball in from 3 yards out with 4:35 remaining and Marcus Jones rushed 73 yards with 2:19 to go.

Hare threw for 203 yards and one touchdown for the Huskies, while Bouagnon amassed 134 yards on the ground for NIU, who amassed 514 yards of total offense.

Miami hits the road next weekend for a game at Western Michigan on Saturday, Oct. 24. Game time is set for 2 p.m.

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