Football ’Cats stunned in final seconds

Jon Young

A back and forth battle came down to the final seconds as the NMU football team lost their final game of the year, 32-31, against the Ferris State Bulldogs, on Saturday, Nov. 10.

With nine seconds left the Bulldogs scored on a 14-play, 93-yard drive to pull the game within one. Ferris State then converted a two-point conversion to complete the comeback.

“It’s a tough way to finish,” said head coach Chris Ostrowsky. “I thought our kids played hard, I know our kids played hard; It came down to the last play of the game. Tough one to swallow right now, but when we have time to sit back and reflect I feel like we will feel pretty good about what we were able to accomplish this year.”

The ’Cats took a 31-24 lead with 7:54 left in the fourth quarter after senior running back Prince Young punched in a 6-yard touchdown run.

NMU (3-7 GLIAC, 4-7 overall) also got a boost from junior wide receiver Christian Jessie, who added a boost of his own to the offense as he returned a 99-yard kickoff for a score, enroot to being named GLIAC Special Teams Player of the Week.

Junior quarterback Cody Scepaniak who finished 11-19 for 157 yards and also rushed for 60 yards and a touchdown said he credits NMU’s midseason turnaround to the program as a whole.

“We’ve done a lot this year, we started out 1-5 and now we’re finishing like we did. For us that’s a win,” Scepaniak said. “To finish like we did, I don’t attribute it to the offense, I don’t attribute it to the defense; I attribute it to the team.”

After 1-5 start the Wildcats were able to stun Grand Valley 38-10 at home, before upsetting Saginaw Valley and Northwood.

Senior defensive lineman Zach Anderson said he’s proud of the fight the team showed this season and the future looks bright for the program.

“I couldn’t wish for anymore luck to this team next year, they’re going to be phenomenal,” Anderson said. “It just hits me hard knowing that I’m not going to be there to contribute next year.”

Sophomore defensive back Nick Krause and junior defensive back Morgan Stenz paced the Wildcat defense with 14 tackles each.

It was the final Wildcat appearance for 12 seniors. Young, Anderson, Rockne Belmonte, James Brito-White, Sam Celentino, Jace Daniels, Josh Droese, Eddie Knoblock, Weston Mclntosh, Brent Parrett, Chad Pepper and Joe Vezina played their last game for NMU as they were honored prior to the game.

Young led NMU with 540 rushing yards and Scepaniak recorded six rushing touchdowns. Scepaniak paced the ’Cats through the air with 1055 yards and six touchdowns.

Jessie led all receivers with six touchdowns and 501 yards.

Krause led the defense with 94 tackles followed by Stenz with 82.

Seniors Eddie Knoblock and Anderson added 80 and 71 tackles respectively.