It was a back-and-forth ride of emotions between the Ball State and Northern Illinois football teams Tuesday night.
In the end, the Northern Illinois won, 41-38.
And the Huskies can thank, in large part, quarterback Chandler Harnish.
The Norwell graduate, equally dangerous running as he is passing, orchestrated a game-winning, nine-play, 63-yard drive that culminated with Mathew Sims’ 34-yard field goal with eight seconds left in the game at DeKalb, Ill.
Harnish completed 25 of 35 passes for 331 yards and two touchdowns, and he rushed 28 times for 181 yards and a touchdown.
The Cardinals had what seemed to be a commanding 31-14 lead in the third quarter, before Harnish began his heroics for the Huskies (8-3).
His 49-yard touchdown run and a 27-yard touchdown pass to Nathan Palmer highlighted 21 straight points scored by the Huskies for a 35-31 lead.
Then, the Cardinals (6-5) finally got their swagger back, Dwayne Donigan rushing for a 7-yard touchdown with 11 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter for a 38-35 lead.
But Northern Illinois’ Sims made a 23-yard field goal with 2:46 left to tie it.
The Huskies’ Jasmin Hopkins rushed 18 times for 122 yards and two touchdowns.
Ball State’s Keith Wenning completed 22 of 42 passes for 234 yards and two touchdowns.
Ball State, which is bowl eligible, finishes its season at home Nov. 25 against Toledo.