MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University football team was defeated by Michigan Tech 41-17 on Saturday (Oct. 6) in the annual Miner's Cup game on Family Weekend at the Superior Dome. The Wildcats outscored the Huskies in the second half after MTU jumped out to a 34-0 lead in the first half.
"We played a really good football team today and made some early mistakes that will hurt any team," NMU coach Chris Ostrowsky said.
Northern is now 1-5 overall and 0-5 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. MTU is now 4-1 overall and 4-1 in the conference.
Junior receiver Christian Jessie scored both NMU touchdowns. He had a 15-yard touchdown run in the third quarter and a 77-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter.
"Our defense played well in the second half and our offense had a spark from our backup quarterback Cody Scepaniak," Ostrowsky added. "Overall I was happy with the way our players responded after halftime. We played hard and we played until the end. I was excited about the willingness to compete and believe in each other."
The Huskies scored the first 34 points of the game. Matt Curtain had three touchdown receptions two from quarterback Tyler Scarlett and one from receiver Ethan Shaver. Shaver had a touchdown reception of his own from Scarlett in the first half.
Senior Rockne Belmonte made a 43-yard field goal as time expired before halftime to get NMU on the board.
Jessie had his first score with 4:15 to go in the third quarter with a run up the middle. NMU went on a six-play, 57-yard drive in 1:32. A 25-yard pass from senior quarterback Cody Scepaniak to sophomore receiver Julian Gaines setup the touchdown.
Early in the fourth quarter (10:25), Jessie had a 77-yard touchdown reception from Scepaniak for the longest play of the year for the 'Cats. Junior Brandon Parson had an 18-yard punt return on the play before.
MTU added a special team's touchdown after Belmonte's fourth quarter punt was blocked. Nelson Wienke returned it 12 yards to the endzone with 7:03 left.
NMU finished the game with 263 yards of offense. Redshirt freshman Ryan Morley started the game and was 11-for-24 through the air for 63 yards and an interception. Scepaniak was 7-for-12 for 157 yards passing and a touchdown.
Jessie finished the game with 87 yards receiving on three catches. He also led the 'Cats on the ground with 32 yards. Gaines had five catches for 57 yards.
Parson led the 'Cats with nine total tackles. He had four solo and five assisted tackles. Freshman Thomas McNamara, sophomore Derek Beltrame, senior Eddie Knoblock and junior Morgan Stenz all added seven total tackles. Beltrame had an interception and returned it 38 yards.
The Huskies had 496 yards of offense. Scarlett was 19-for-36 for 275 yards through the air. He had three touchdowns and an interception. Curtain had 171 yards receiving on seven catches. Bryan LaChapelle had six catches for 35 yards. Josh Hauswirth led the team with 62 rushing yards.
Northern hosts top ten ranked Grand Valley State next Saturday (Oct. 13) at the Dome. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. on Band Day.
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