Huskies seize fourth straight Miner’s Cup

Georgette Breen-Naylor

The Wildcat football team headed up to Houghton to play against their rival Michigan Tech on Saturday, Oct. 12 and walked away with a loss when the Huskies defeated them 31-7.

This was the fourth straight season that the Huskies took the Miner’s Cup from the ’Cats.

Senior wide receiver Christian Jessie (3) had 20 receiving yards and a 20-yard kick-off return against the Huskies at the Michigan Tech home field. (Anthony Viola NW)
Senior wide receiver Christian Jessie (3) had 20 receiving yards and a 20-yard kick-off return against the Huskies at the Michigan Tech home field. (Anthony Viola NW)

Head coach Chris Ostrowsky said the team is still pretty young.

“It’s never good to lose,” Ostrowsky said. “This is the youngest team I’ve ever been associated with, and I would be lying if I said I didn’t believe in our future and our players.”

The Huskies started off with  24 points on the board before the ’Cats were even able to score.

Junior linebacker Kyle Polk said he thinks the ’Cats stepped up when the offense was down.

“Our defense really stepped up to the plate when our offense was down,” Polk said. “We are taught to pick each other up, and that’s what we did.”

NMU did not respond to MTU until redshirt freshman running back Keon Collier scored a touchdown on a 16-yard run in the third quarter with 5:34 left.

Collier appeared in two games last season as running back and rushed for 75 yards on nine carries against Findlay. He added two receptions for 30 yards in that game. He also had 32 yards on the ground on five carries against UW-La Crosse last season.

Collier’s touchdown, an eight play, 80-yard drive, was set up by two big pass plays from junior quarterback Dustin Thomas.

Early into the third quarter Thomas suffered an injury and was replaced by freshman quarterback Shaye Brown.

Brown appeared in his first ever collegiate game.

“I was very nervous,” Brown said. “I knew my coach wouldn’t give me anything I couldn’t handle and my team had my back.”

Brown was five for 12 for 37 yards. He lettered twice at Linden High School as a quarterback and was named All-State, All-League and All-Area in high school.

Brown said he didn’t think the team played to their full potential.

“I think we played awful,” Brown said. “I’ve seen this team when they are playing their best and it was just an off day.”

Brown and Polk both said execution is what caused the ’Cats to lose against the Huskies.

Brown also said the team made too many game mistakes.

“We didn’t execute, plain and simple,” Brown said. “Offensively, we just made too many little mistakes.”

Sophomore defensive back Thomas McNamara and junior linebacker Nick Krause led the defensive end with a total of eight tackles.

Last season McNamara lettered for the first time after he appeared in six games. He had 17 solo tackles and 11 assisted tackles on the season.

McNamara said there could have been some things done differently to change the outcome of the game.

“We could have played a full 60 minutes,” McNamara said. “We just need to learn to play a full game and to not take any plays off.”

McNamara said he thinks the team could work on some things before the game against Grand Valley State.

“We need to work on all aspects of the game,” McNamara said. “We have a lot of young players on the team and we need to keep improving every week.”

The ’Cats will be on the road at Grand Valley State University at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19.

Currently the ’Cats are 1-4 overall and 1-4 in the GLIAC. The GVSU Lakers are 4-2 overall and 2-2 in the conference.

Ostrowsky said it’s about the team more than the opponent at this point.

“It’s all about us at this point,” Ostrowsky said. “We need to improve in every phase of the game.”