Northern Illinois wins fifth straight MAC West title with 31-21 win over Western Michigan


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KALAMAZOO, Michigan — Drew Hare ran for Northern Illinois' final two touchdowns as the Huskies scored 24 unanswered points to defeat Western Michigan 31-21 on Friday and win a fifth consecutive Mid-American Conference West title.

Hare's 2-yard run with 11:37 left gave the Huskies (10-2, 7-1) their first lead at 24-21 since Hare connected with Aregeros Turner for a 65-yard scoring play for a 7-0 lead in the first quarter.

Hare's second 2-yard touchdown run came in the final minute, five plays after Western Michigan's Zach Terrell was hit by Sean Folliard as Terrell was getting ready to pass and the ball was recovered by Jason Meehan.

The Broncos (8-4, 6-2) hurt themselves with two interceptions and four lost fumbles as their six-game win streak ended.

The Huskies and Toledo tied for the West crown, but Northern Illinois earned a trip to Detroit to play East champ Bowling Green for the MAC championship on Dec. 5, having earned the tiebreaker over the Rockets by defeating Toledo 27-24 on Nov. 11. The Huskies also clinched their fifth consecutive 10-win season.

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