Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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Football: Northwestern clinging to halftime lead in Champaign

CHAMPAIGN, ILL., – At halftime the Wildcats are clinging to a 14-10 lead

Illinois wasted no time in scoring the first points of the game. Quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase found Jenkins wide open on a crossing route and Jenkins did the rest to put the Fighting Illini up 7-0. That was enough to spur the NU offense in response, as a steady dose of rushing from Mike Trumpy and Treyvon Green moved the Cats to the Fighting Illini 35-yard line before the quarter ended.

The Cats started the second quarter like they ended the first, moving the ball effectively on the ground. It was senior quarterback Persa’s arm though that tied the game at seven, as Persa found senior superback Drake Dunsmore for a six-yard touchdown.

The Cats’ defense stepped up on the next Illinois drive, keeping the Fighting Illini in check. Scheelhaase had one 25-yard completion to wide receiver A.J. Jenkins, but NU was able to suffocate the running game and redshirt freshman Collin Ellis’ delayed blitz on third and six halted the Illinois drive near midfield.

The Fighting Illini and Cats traded three and outs, but sophomore defensive end Tyler Scott picked up a dropped pitch from Scheelhaase to Troy Pollard and NU got the ball inside Illinois territory. The change in momentum was enough to spark the dormant NU offense, as Persa found senior running back Jacob Schmidt on a screen pass that turned into a 20-yard gain thanks to a late block from sophomore quarterback Kain Colter on safety Trulon Henry. A personal foul on linebacker Jonathan Brown set up a second Cats touchdown as Persa connected with his good friend senior wideout Jeremy Ebert for a three-yard score.

Illinois appeared to have a quick touchdown in response, but a pass interference call on Spencer Harris negated the score. Nevertheless, Illinois stayed in field-goal range due to Scheelhaase’s athleticism and Derek Dimke converted on a 49-yard attempt to end the half.

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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881
Football: Northwestern clinging to halftime lead in Champaign