On Wednesday night, the University of Toledo football team was defeated by Northern Illinois 38-15, knocking the Rockets out of MAC West division title contention. The loss drops the Rockets’ record to 5-5 overall and 3-3 in Mid-American Conference play.
Second-year quarterback Eli Peters completed 26 of 47 passes for 264 yards in the contest.
Fourth-year wide receiver Cody Thompson led the receiving corps with eight receptions for 110 yards. Third-year receiver Diontae Johnson recorded seven catches for 52 yards, while fourth-year receiver Jon'Vea Johnson added four receptions and one touchdown.
Third-year running back Art Thompkins led the ground game with 62 yards on 12 carries.
The rest of UT’s season is still important as they need to win one of their last two games to become bowl-eligible.
In the first quarter, the Rocket defense came up big and stopped NIU on fourth-and-one from its own 45-yard line. UT used the great field position and moved the ball down to the eight-yard line.
The drive ended with a 25-yard field goal by fourth-year kicker Jameson Vest.
The defense again helped out the offense when third-year linebacker Jordan Fisher forced a fumble on a pass completion that was recovered by second-year cornerback Justin Clark on the Toledo 48-yard line. The Rockets did not capitalize as Vest's 36-yard field goal attempt hooked left.
NIU took a 7-3 lead off of a short pass to second-year tight end Corey Lersch, who broke a tackle and took it 33 yards for a touchdown.
In the second quarter, the Rockets set the Huskies up at their own seven-yard line on a coffin corner punt by Bailey Flint. This was no problem for NIU as they were able to drive 62 yards down the field and scored on a 48-yard field goal by fourth-year kicker Andrew Gantz.
The Rockets brought the lead down to one at 10-9 off of a 23-yard TD pass from Peters to Jon'Vea Johnson. UT only got six points as Vest missed his first extra point of the season.
The Huskies’ special teams unit pounced on a Flint punt, then picked the ball up and took it 27 yards for the score.
To start the second half, NIU marched down the field on an 11-play, 82-yard drive. First-year quarterback Marcus Childers capped off the drive with a one-yard TD run to increase the lead to 24-9.
The Huskies put the game away with a four-play, 69-yard drive. Childers had another TD run, this time from 23 yards out, to extend the NIU lead to 31-9.
In the fourth quarter, UT ended a six-minute drive with a one-yard rushing TD from Shakif Seymour. The Rockets were only able to make the score 31-15 as they failed on a two-point conversion.
NIU ended the night with a 44-yard TD run by third-year running back Marcus Jones with 3:18 left.
The Rockets will face off against Kent State at 6 p.m. Nov. 15 at Dix Stadium.