Football team loses heartbreaker to Tech

Ray Bressette

The football team travels to Saginaw this weekend to take on the win-less Saginaw Valley State Cardinals at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 4.

The Wildcats dropped their homecoming game to their rival, the Michigan Tech Huskies 34-31, as Tech’s senior kicker Garrett Mead kicked a 39-yard field goal to win the game and the two team’s annual Miner’s Cup trophy.

Junior receiver Austin Young, native of Escanaba, Mich. said the loss was devastating.

“It was a heartbreaker,” Young said. “Being a U.P. kid, that’s one game you always dream of playing in and winning. But we’ll have to try and come back and battle next week.”

Sophomore quarterback Shaye Brown threw for three touchdowns, completing 18 of his 35 passes, 254 yards and one interception. Junior wide-receiver Marcus Tucker caught two touchdowns and 79 yards, while junior running back Wyatt Jurasin rushed for 61 yards on 17 attempts.

The loss dropped the Wildcats to 1-3 in the conference and 1-4 overall, and they sit at seventh place out of eight teams in the GLIAC North Division.

NMU will travel to Saginaw Valley this weekend to take on the 0-4 Cardinals Saturday afternoon. The Cardinals are coming off a 47-13 loss at home to the Ferris State Bulldogs Saturday, Sept. 27.

On the season, Saginaw’s junior quarterback Keith Moore has thrown for 595 yards, five touchdowns and three interceptions through four games. Junior wide-receiver Bryan Fobbs is leading Saginaw’s receivers with 195 yards and two touchdowns. Freshman linebacker Bryan Jones has 19 tackles on defense.

Junior linebacker Levi Perry said the Wildcat defense is improving each week.

“Every week our communication is getting way up and we’re getting super confident,” Perry said. “We’re falling short and there’s always room to improve, and we’ll do that for sure. We just have to move ahead and try as hard as we can and get ready for Saginaw.”

Saginaw’s 0-4 record has them last in the GLIAC North Division.

The Cardinals offense is averaging 285 yards and 15 points a game, while they are giving up an average of 31.2 points to the opposing team per game.

Brown said the ’Cats needs a better rhythm on his side of the ball to get their first conference win.

“Offensively we have to stop shooting ourselves in the foot with penalties,” Brown said. “I think I have to come out and start playing more consistent. Our offensive line has been doing a good job and our receivers are getting open, I’m just going to have to be consistent.”

Last season, the Cardinals defeated the Wildcats 52-17 Saturday, Nov. 9 in Saginaw. The Cardinals graduated senior quarterback Jonathon Jennings in 2013, who was awarded the GLIAC “Player of the Year” award for his performance on the season where he passed for 3,340 yards, 31 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

Head coach Chris Ostrowsky said despite their recent struggles, the ’Cats have great potential.

“I love everything about this team,” Ostrowsky said. “Anybody that looks at us and understands football sees we’re fighting, we have a tremendous amount of character, we’re well coached and understands how to play college football. I’m really excited to lead this group. It’s a great group of kids.”