Drew Hare tossed the first of his two touchdown passes to Juwan Brescacin a minute and a half into the game to give the Huskies a 7-0 lead, but Rawls capped a 10-play, 86-yard drive by punching in from the 5 to even the score on the Chippewas' first possession.
Central Michigan led, 21-7, at halftime.
Rawls finished with 40 carries for the second straight week, gaining 270 yards, giving him 499 yards and four touchdowns in his past two games.
Cooper Rush was 20 of 31 for 269 yards and two touchdowns for Central Michigan (4-3, 2-1 Mid-American Conference).
Hare had 231 yards on 18-of-33 passing with two touchdowns for Northern Illinois (4-2, 1-1 MAC).