Created: Sunday, October 6, 2013 11:40 p.m. CDT
Updated: Monday, October 7, 2013 1:58 p.m. CDT
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Stingily rushes for career day on birthday

By STEVE NITZ snitz@shawmedia.com
Northern Illinois running back Cameron Stingily breaks free from a tackle during the Huskies' 38-24 victory over Kent State on Saturday in Kent, Ohio. (Scott Walstrom – NIU Media Relations)

KENT, Ohio – For Cameron Stingily, the only negative from his 266-yard rushing effort Saturday is that his wallet will be a little thinner.

Before the start of the season, Stingily told the offensive linemen that if he rushed for 150 or more yards at some point this season, he’d buy any lineman who played in the game a meal at IHOP. Stingily ran the ball 37 times Saturday and averaged 7.2 yards a carry in the Huskies’ 38-24 win, which moved them to 5-0.

Huskie left tackle Tyler Loos is one player who will be enjoying the free meal.

“I always enjoy free food from a fellow teammate,” he said.

Stingily’s yardage total was the most for a Huskie tailback since Garrett Wolfe’s legendary 353-yard day against Ball State in 2006. It was the 12th-highest rushing total in school history.

After the game, Stingily didn’t believe he ran for that many yards.

Stingily also turned 22 years old Saturday. Not a bad birthday.

“I wanted to celebrate it with a win and play the best that I can,” he said. “I didn’t know I was going to touch the ball that many times. I knew the game plan, but I didn’t think I was going to end up with 260 yards, honestly.”

Stingily credited his veteran offensive line for his accomplishment, mentioning that he was going untouched for four yards with a full head of steam.

The Huskies other backs had good days as well. Keith Harris Jr. had two carries for 31 yards before leaving with an injury in the first half. Walk-on junior tailback James Spencer, a native of Fremont, Ohio – roughly two hours from Kent – had six carries for 42 yards and a touchdown.

NIU’s line still got the job done despite the fact the Golden Flashes kept stacking the box.

“They are playing awesome. The push they are getting to the second level is incredible,” said NIU quarterback Jordan Lynch, who ran 14 times for 94 yards. “Near the end of the game Kent was putting eight or nine guys in the box and we were still able to break off big runs.”

Stingily, who was a linebacker before spring practice in 2012, now has 576 yards rushing on the season. He had only one carry last season. Now in his fourth year at NIU, the junior has come a long way. He’s gone through not only the position switch, but rehabbed after a torn Achilles tendon suffered in 2010 sidelined him for more than a season.

“Almost every bus trip, I thought about giving up because I was on the scout team for two years. That’s tough when you think you’re never going to be able to play,” Stingily said. “My teammates told me they were proud of me (after Saturday’s effort), considering how far I’ve come and since there were times where I seriously thought about quitting.”

HISTORY BOOKS
MID-AMERICAN CONFERENCE WINNING STREAKS
19 – Bowling Green (1991-93)18  Northern Illinois (2011-on) 16 – Miami (1973-75) 15 – Toledo (1969-71) 14 – Miami (1953-56)

TOP 10 NORTHERN ILLINOIS ALL-TIME SINGLE-GAME RUSHING PERFORMANCE IN MAC GAMES 353 – Garrett Wolfe, vs. Ball State (2006) 325 – Garrett Wolfe, vs. Eastern Michigan (2004) 282 – Michael Turner, vs. Western Illinois (2002) 281 – Michael Turner, vs. Central Michigan (2000) 280 – Garrett Wolfe, vs. Ball State (2004) 277 – Garrett Wolfe, vs. Western Michigan (2005) 270 – Garrett Wolfe, vs. Akron (2005)266 – Cameron Stingily, vs. Kent State (2013) 263 – Garrett Wolfe, vs. Buffalo (2006) 254 – Allen Ross, vs. Ohio (1977)

TOP 20 NORTHERN ILLINOIS ALL-TIME SINGLE-GAME RUSHING PERFORMANCES 353 – Garrett Wolfe, vs. Ball State (2006) 325 – Garrett Wolfe, vs. Eastern Michigan (2004) 322 – LeShon Johnson, vs. Southern Illinois (1993) 308 – Stacey Robinson, vs. Fresno State (1990) 306 – LeShon Johnson, vs. Iowa (1993) 282 – Michael Turner, vs. Western Illinois (2002) 281 – Michael Turner, vs. Central Michigan (2000) 281 – Stacey Robinsin, vs. Cincinnati (1989) 280 – Garrett Wolfe, vs. Ball State (2004) 277 – Garrett Wolfe, vs. Western Michigan (2005) 270 – Garrett Wolfe, vs. Akron (2005)266 – Cameron Stingily, vs. Kent State (2013) 263 – Garrett Wolfe, vs. Buffalo (2006) 254 – Allen Ross, vs. Ohio (1977) 252 – Darryl Richardson, vs. Ball State (1983) 252 – Adrian Davis, vs. Kent State (2005) 251 – Charles Talley, vs. Arkansas State (1995) 246 – Mark Kellar, vs. Illinois State (1973) 245 – Garrett Wolfe, vs. Northwestern (2005) 238 – LeShon Johnson, vs. New Mexico State (1993)

Now that NIU's true road winning streak is over, which road win was your favorite?
2013 at Toledo
2013 at Iowa
2013 at Purdue
2014 at Northwestern
Other