KENT, Ohio (AP) Rocky Lombardi scored from a yard out with just under five minutes left in the game and Jacob Finley recovered a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown as time expired to give Northern Illinois a 37-27 win over Kent State in the season finale Saturday afternoon.

Northern Illinois finished its season with back-to-back wins to finish 5-3 and in second place in the Mid-American Conference West Division, three games behind unbeaten 8-0 Toledo.

Kent State put up 17 points in the second quarter and took a 17-10 lead at the half. Lombardi threw 16 yards to Grayson Barnes for a touchdown to start the third quarter, then punched over from the 1 to take a 24-20 lead after three quarters.

Kent State (0-8, 1-11) took the lead on a 50-yard touchdown pass from Devin Kargman to Jameel Gardner Jr. with 10:23 left, but the Huskies answered with a 75-yard, nine-play drive that consumed almost six minutes and was capped by senior quarterback Lombardi.

The Golden Flashes put together a nine-play drive that stalled at the NIU 36-yard line when Kargman threw incomplete on fourth down, but the defense held the Huskies to a three-and-out and Kent State got the ball back at its own 9 with under a minute left. James Ester and Navaeh Sanders sacked Kargman on consecutive plays to put the ball near the goal line and Gardner fumbled on the next play.

Lombardi finished 9 of 18 passing for 183 yards and a touchdown and had two 1-yard runs for touchdowns. Gavin Williams carried 17 times for 103 yards and Antonio Brown added another 89 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries.

Kargman was 14 of 26 for 237 yards and two touchdowns, with Gardner catching three passes for 111 yards and a touchdown. Luke Floriea caught nine passes for 83 yards and a touchdown.


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