Herald-Advertiser, Oct. 9, 1971.
DEKALB, Ill. -- Opportunistic Northern Illinois converted a penalty, a fumble and two pass interceptions into 23 points in the third quarter here Saturday night and rode the explosion to a 37-18 victory over Marshall University.
Terry Drugan, Northern's ailing but able No. 1 quarterback, also came on the scene in the third quarter to direct a three touchdown-one field goal assault after his backup, John Piazza, could manage but a 7-6 margin at halftime.
Marshall, however, had to go to its second quarterback in the third stanza as regular starter Reggie Oliver was injured while helping stop one of his tormentors, NIU cornerback Jim Montgomery, whose interception and runback led to a field goal.
Dave Walsh took over the signal calling for the Young Thundering Herd. Walsh passed for one touchdown in the fourth quarter and ran for the final MU score.
NIU, which snapped a two-game losing streak to win its second of five starts, got its first third-quarter touchdown on a 26-yard burst around right end by tailback Byron Florence after the period was just 5:45 old. And, the 185-pound sophomore speedster put a good move on Marshall veteran defender Nate Ruffin to spring free at the 20.
NIU had forced Marshall to punt following the second-half kickoff, but its own drive had bogged down at the Herd 45. Tom Wittum, the Husky punter and placekicker, was roughed and the 15-yard marchoff against the Herd gave NIU first down at the MU 30.
From there Drugan needed just two plays to spring Florence and Wittum added the point after to give NIU a 14-6 lead.
Marshall ran only three plays on its next series before Oliver threw his second interception of the game, and a crucial one. Montgomery picked off his pass intended for Lanny Steed at the Herd 48 on a first-and-10 throw and returned it to the MU 13. Oliver knocked Montgomery out of bounds, and himself out of the game. Oliver nursed a bruised should all week in practice, after sitting out last Saturday's rout at Miami.
Marshall's defense denied NIU and Drugan a touchdown this time, but only because tight end Don Martin dropped the quarterback's third-and-three pass, Wittum came on to book a 22-yard field goal to push the margin to 17-6 with 6:20 left in the quarter.
Walsh came on to run the Herd attack, and promptly connected with Steed for a 36-yard pickup and a first down at the Northern 31.
Offensive interference by Tom Bossie near the goal moved the Herd back to the 43, then Walsh passed to Johnstonbaugh for an 11-yard gain, but the MU tailback fumbled to NIU cornerback Chris Blake.
Starting at his 32, Drugan struck his team 68 yards in eight plays, aided by a personal foul penalty. Key plays in the march were a 16-yard pass from Drugan to Martin, and fullback Mark Kellar's final 10-yard crash up the middle for the touchdown. The TD came with 2:07 to play in the quarter.
Marshall lost the ball after two plays the next time Walsh being intercepted at midfield by linebacker Rich Marks as the Huskies triple-teamed Dick Washington.
Drugan threw two incomplete passes, then teamed up with Martin for 16 yards, before hitting his tight end for a 34-yard touchdown with just 42 seconds left in the third quarter. Wittum, who on kickoffs booms the ball into the end zone, missed the conversion try.
In his quarter of work, Drugan hit five of eight passes for 75 yards, but his engineering was a shot in the arm -- and the scoreboard -- for the Huskies.