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April 23, 2019

Down 19, Northern Illinois pulls off remarkable comeback to beat Buffalo for the MAC championship

December 1, 2018

Marcus Childers threw a touchdown pass — his fourth of the game — to D.J. Brown with 1 minute, 9 seconds remaining Friday, and Northern Illinois rallied from a 19-point second-half deficit for a 30-29 victory over Buffalo in the Mid-American Conference championship game.

The 35-yard touchdown pass came on the eighth play of a 70-yard drive that took a little more than two minutes after Sutton Smith’s sack of Bulls quarterback Tyree Jackson forced a punt.

NIU’s two-point conversion failed, and the Bulls reached the Huskies 41-yard line before an incomplete pass on fourth down with 21 seconds left ended their hopes.

The late touchdown capped a comeback from a 29-10 third-quarter deficit. Childers connected on a 28-yard touchdown strike to Brown with 13 seconds left in the third and a 32-yarder to Spencer Tears with 12:51 left in the fourth.

Childers, who also had a 13-yard touchdown pass to Tears in the first half, completed 21 of 33 passes for 300 yards with an interception and led the Huskies (8-5) with 58 yards rushing.

The Huskies (8-5) have won four title games, the Bulls one.

Jackson was 18-of-35 passing for 252 yards and two touchdowns to Anthony Johnson, who had 124 yards on seven catches. Kevin Marks and Jaret Patterson ran for touchdowns. Buffalo (10-3) missed an extra-point attempt after their second score.

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