AKRON, Ohio (AP) — Tre Harbison rushed for 169 yards and a touchdown, Jalen McKie scored on a 23-yard interception return for the only fourth-quarter points and Northern Illinois held off Akron 36-26 on Thursday night.
After Akron scored two touchdowns less than two minutes apart to pull to 27-26, the extra point attempt was blocked and McKie returned it for a three-point lead. McKie sealed it with another interception with 1:05 remaining.
Marcus Childers was 21-of-28 passing for 188 yards and one touchdown for Northern Illinois (6-3, 5-0 Mid-American Conference).
Childers hit tight end Corey Lersch for a 19-yard touchdown to open the scoring. After Akron tied it, NIU went on a 10-play, 75-yard drive to retake the lead on Harbison's short run. Spencer Tears also had short touchdown run in the second quarter to extend NIU's lead to 24-10.
Kato Nelson passed for 299 yards and two touchdowns for Akron (4-4, 2-3).