MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University football team was defeated by No. 17-ranked Ashland University 42-13 on Homecoming at the Superior Dome on Saturday (Sept. 22). The Wildcats scored a 77-yard touchdown on their first play from scrimmage but didn't score again until the final play of the game.
With the loss, NMU is now 1-3 overall and 0-3 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The Eagles move to a perfect 4-0 record and 3-0 in conference play.
The 'Cats ran a flea flicker on the first play as redshirt freshman Ryan Morley handed the ball off to senior running back Prince Young. Young tossed it back to Morley who found sophomore receiver Julian Gaines streaking up the sideline. Gaines caught the ball and scored NMU's longest play of the season.
NMU's final touchdown was an 11-yard pass from Morley to junior Trever Kruzel as time expired. The 'Cats marched 96 yards down the field in 7:40 on 15 plays to end the game.
Ashland scored 14 points in each of the first three quarters. The Eagles scored touchdowns on their first two possessions. Steve Nagy capped off a 69-yard drive with a three-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Taylor Housewright with 10:30 left in the first. Later in the quarter (3:47), Housewright found Alex Weber for a 22-yard touchdown reception after an 11-play, 61-yard drive.
In the second quarter, Jordan McCune had a two-yard touchdown run to cap off a 16-play 82-yard drive and a 21-7 lead with 6:29 left before halftime. Anthony Taylor added a one-yard touchdown run for a 21-point lead after an 80-yard drive with under a minute to go.
Housewright had two more touchdown passes in the third quarter. The first was to Eric Thompkins with 13:04 left on a 15-yard reception. The second was to Anthony Capasso on an 18-yard pass with 6:03 remaining.
Northern had 238 yards of total offense on 74 rushing and 164 passing. The 'Cats were 6-for-14 on third down and 1-for-2 in the redzone. NMU had six punts for an average of 37 yards.
Morley finished the afternoon 15-for-24 through the air for 164 yards and two touchdowns. Young finished with 81 yards on the ground on 21 carries. Gaines had five receptions for 97 yards and a touchdown. Kruzel had three receptions for 22 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 12 yards on two carries.
Sophomore Nick Krause led the Wildcat defense with 11 total tackles. He had six solo tackles, five assisted tackles and one tackle for loss. Sophomore Derek Beltrame had 10 total tackles. Senior Josh Droese had nine total tackles and senior Zach Anderson added eight total tackles and one tackle for loss. Junior Brandon Parson had an interception, five solo tackles and one assisted tackle.
Ashland totaled 453 yards of offense on 258 through the air and 195 on the ground. The Eagles were 15-for-18 on third down and 5-for-5 in the redzone.
Housewright had 256 yards passing on 23-for-29 and four touchdowns. Taylor led the ground attack with 98 yards. Capasso had five catches for 76 yards and Brian Gamble had four grabs for 63 yards.
NMU travels to Hillsdale next weekend for a matchup with the Chargers.
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