KENT, Ohio -- — Dustin Crum passed for two touchdowns and rushed for two scores, and Kent State used a 31-point second quarter to beat Northern Illinois 52-47 on Wednesday night.
Kent State ended a 10-game losing streak in the series, getting its first win against Northern Illinois since 2001.
Northern Illinois led 7-0 after the first quarter but Kent State had four straight touchdown scoring drives in the second quarter, each taking less than 75 seconds, to build a 31-21 lead at the break. The Golden Flash finished with seven touchdowns, the drives averaging 1:12.
Nykeim Johnson added a rushing and receiving touchdown in the third quarter for a 45-27 lead, and Marquez Cooper's 36-yard touchdown made it 52-40. Following NIU's TD to get within five points, Kent State chewed up the final 5:07 for its longest drive of the game.
Crum was 20 of 30 for 322 yards, and carried it four times for 72 yards for Kent State (5-4, 4-1 Mid-American Conference). Cooper finished with 173 yards rushing and two scores, and Xavier Williams ran for 103. Dante Cephas had five catches for 124 yards.
Rocky Lombardi and Trayvon Rudolph each set program records for Northern Illinois (6-3, 4-1). Rudolph, who scored a 75-yard touchdown for a second straight week, had 309 yards receiving to pass Sam Hurd’s 266 in 2005. Lombardi became the first player in program history to pass for 500 yards, completing 33-of-57 passes for 532 yards and three scores.
Lombardi was helped off the field with 5:15 left after a helmet-to-helmet hit near the goal line. When play resumed, Clint Ratkovich took a direct snap and scored a 1-yard TD to pull within 52-47. Lombardi was later seen on the sideline talking with teammates.
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