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Northern Illinois Edges Ball State, 26-20

Last updated on Friday, November 13, 2009

(DEKALB, IL) - The Ball State Cardinals fell to 1-9 with a 26-20 defeat Thursday night at Northern Illinois.

The Huskies quarterback duo of Chandler Harnish and Demarcus Grady combined to complete 13 of 14 passes for 91 yards and two touchdowns.

The lone pass NIU failed to complete was intercepted by Ball State Safety Alex Knipp.

The Huskies led 16-7 after one before a pair of Ian McGarvey field goals in the second quarter pulled the Cardinals to within three as Northern Illinois took a 16-13 advantage to the locker room at halftime.

The Huskies took control in the third quarter with a 41-yard field goal from Mike Salerno and a six-yard touchdown pass from Harnish to Marcus Lewis giving NIU a 26-13 lead at the end of three.

Tanner Justice completed 11 of 19 passes for 134 yards with a 29-yard touchdown pass to Daniel Ifft on fourth and 15 with just under five and-a-half minutes remaining to pull the Cardinals to within six.

Ball State would get a couple of more opportunities, but turned the ball over on downs with 1:35 remaining and could not convert on their final opportunity when they got the ball back at their own 39 with two seconds remaining.

The Huskies improve to 7-3 and are a game behind first-place Central Michigan in the MAC West. The Cardinals return home to face Central Michigan on Wednesday night.

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