MUNCIE, Ind. -- Chad Spann rushed for three touchdowns and Northern Illinois clinched the Mid-American West Division title and a berth in the conference championship game with a 59-21 victory over Ball State on Saturday.
Eric Williams scored two rushing touchdowns for the Cardinals (4-8, 3-5), who were held to 268 total yards in their season finale. Kelly Page threw a career-long 80-yard touchdown pass to Jack Tomlinson.
Jimmie Ward returned a blocked punt 15 yards for a TD, and Tyrone Clark scored on a 16-yard interception return for Northern Illinois.
Northern Illinois will play in the MAC championship game for the first time since 2005 and for the second time in school history.