Ball State Football defeated Northern Illinois 44-38 in double overtime Oct. 1 at Scheumann Stadium to reclaim the Bronze Stalk Trophy.
The Cardinals fell behind by three scores in the second quarter but managed to put some points on the board in the form of tight end Brady Hunt who sliced through the Huskies’ defense for a 30-yard touchdown.
After a Huskies field goal to end the first half, the Cardinals answered when graduate student safety Jaquan Amos returned a 31-yard interception setting up the offense to punch in the second touchdown of the day with a 2-yard rushing touchdown from sophomore running back Carson Steele.
The Huskies answered back with a 52-yard drive scoring the touchdown. The Cardinals continued to push for the comeback as Paddock led the offense with an 87-yard drive in less than 2 minutes concluding it with a 17-yard heave to freshman tight end Tanner Koziol for the touchdown pushing the Cardinals closer.
After gaining momentum in the game the Cardinals' defense gave up a 68-yard rushing touchdown from Huskies’ sophomore running back Harrison Waylee on 3rd-and-3 late in the 4th quarter. Not being able to get to the end zone on the next drive to answer back, the Cardinals brought out the field goal unit and graduate student kicker Ben VonGunten split the uprights to make it 38-31 with less than four minutes in regulation.
After a stop on 3rd-and-13, the Cardinals received the ball back with a little less than 2 minutes left. Paddock took charge in the 2-minute drill to put a storybook ending on the Cardinals' comeback. Paddock threw in his 3rd passing touchdown of the day hitting Koziol for a 6-yard reception in the end zone and setting up the game-tying PAT.
One more defensive stop from Ball State brought regulation to a close and sent the game overtime. The Cardinals won the overtime coin toss and deferred to play defense first. Stopping the Huskies on 3rd-and-5 with a broken-up pass from redshirt junior linebacker Cole Pearce, Northern Illinois’ redshirt junior kicker John Richardson missed the field goal.
With points scored to end the game, VonGunten missed the 43-yard attempt and sent the game to double overtime.
Going into the second overtime the Cardinals punched it in with a 1-yard rushing touchdown from Steele for his third touchdown of the game after a couple of key receptions from senior wide receiver Jayson Jackson.
After missing the 2-point conversion, the defense needed one more stop to seal the Ball State win.
On 3rd-and-eight, Pearce had a game-defying sack for an 11-yard loss and, with the game on the line, redshirt junior cornerback Tyler “Red” Potts broke up a pass to complete the third-largest comeback in program history.