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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Dallas Wiertella
Dallas Wiertella
Multimedia Editor

Through my experience here at the North Wind I have been able to have the privilege of highlighting students through all forms of multimedia journalism. Whether I'm in front or behind the camera, I aim...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Photo Courtesy of Heather Maurer
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Finally…Wildcat victory!

After four consecutive losses, the Wildcat football team ended its losing streak last Saturday with a three-point win over Wayne State in front of 3,461 fans attending on family weekend. Head coach Chris Ostrowsky said the ’Cats’ success was a result of dedication to their defensive game plan.

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“Things have been fantastic,” he said. “Our players deserved to win on Saturday, it doesn’t matter what happened before that game. We beat a good Wayne State team, and we’re excited to take on the next good team.”

While the team’s strategy might not have changed, a number of players stepped up their game to help lead the Wildcats to their first conference victory of the season.

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Junior wide receiver Marcus Tucker was named GLIAC special teams player of the week out of the 15 conference teams, after putting up 204 yards on kickoff returns, as well as 114 receiving yards.

“It’s awesome to win an award like that,” Tucker said. “With so much talent in this conference, to be considered one of those special players was an honor for me. I couldn’t have done it without the great protection from our offensive line and outstanding play from (quarterback) Shaye Brown. It was great on Saturday for everything to finally come together and actually show what we’re capable of.”

Tucker said it was a relief, after four straight losses for the team, to pull out a win.

“It was another close game,” he said. “Fortunately, we played just a few more plays than they did and were able to come up with the win, and I’m just very proud of this group of guys.”

Sophomore quarterback Shaye Brown was benched the week before in the game against Malone University in favor of freshman quarterback Jaranta Lewis.  During the team’s first five games, Brown had thrown seven touchdowns, yet had seven throws intercepted. Brown returned to the starting role as quarterback against Wayne State and put up the best performance of his Wildcat career, completing 29 of his 42 passes, throwing for 346 yards with one touchdown and zero interceptions.

Brown said the benching gave him extra motivation.

“I had more of a chip on my shoulder,” Brown said. “I used this past week to calm down, regroup and get myself together, and it worked out in the end.”

Ostrowsky said Brown lived up to expectations in his return.

“Shaye had a great preparation all week,” Ostrowsky said. “Neither of the guys knew which one I was going to go with until kickoff, and I was overwhelmed with Shaye’s ability to play with great poise and take control of the situation. As of now, he’s playing great for us.”

Victory with Wayne State was particularly satisfying, especially since the ’Cats had been within a touchdown or less in all of their previous five losses. Ostrowsky said the team just needs the luck of the ball dropping their way once in a while to come out with a huge win.

Freshman kicker Cameron West missed three of his first eight field goal attempts of the season,  including a 33-yard game-tying field goal in the final seconds of a game at Hillsdale University on Sept. 20, as well as missing a 35-yard field goal on homecoming against the Michigan Tech Huskies Sept. 27, which could have tied the game. However, West converted two field goals in the final five minutes of the Wayne State game to give the ’Cats the three point victory and complete the perfect storm.

“We stayed committed to each other and believed in one another, that was the critical part of our preparation,” Ostrowsky said. “I think we’re still in the mode where we feel like we’re on the right path, I’m not sure if this win changed the culture around here, but it was a really good win for everyone involved.”

The ’Cats found themselves down 23-10 to the Warriors early in the second half before junior running back Terrance Dye scored a five-yard touchdown to make the Warriors’ lead a one possession lead at 26-17 with 8:36 remaining in the third quarter.

NMU’s defense forced a three and out punt from Wayne State on the next drive, which was returned 66 yards for an NMU touchdown by junior receiver Austin Young to give the Wildcats their first lead of the game at 24-23 with 6:48 left on the clock in the third.

Freshman kicker Ryan Laberge added a field goal early in the fourth quarter to extend the Wildcats’ lead to 27-23 with 10:52 remaining in the fourth quarter.

The Warriors went back on top 30-27 with a nine-yard touchdown. Junior quarterback Carl Roscoe found senior wide receiver Michael Johnson for the score with 6:18 remaining in the fourth.

The Wildcats responded with two field goals in the final five minutes of the game from Laberge, the final a 24-yard to put the ’Cats up 33-30 with 22 seconds remaining in the fourth.

The Warriors received the ball at their own 37-yard line with 16 seconds remaining when Roscoe threw a 14-yard interception to NMU’s junior linebacker Loran Jaddou to end the game and give the ’Cats their first home win on the season, as well as their first conference win.

Wildcat junior running back Wyatt Jurasin had 22 rushes in the game, gaining 68 yards and one touchdown. Senior linebacker Nick Krause and sophomore linebacker Dalton Stenberg each had seven tackles in the victory. Junior defensive back Brandon Auguste brought in two interceptions.

With the win, the Wildcats improved their record to 1-5 in conference play, as well as 2-5 overall.

The ’Cats will have a chance to win their first conference road game in nearly two years this weekend as they travel to the No. 24-ranked Ashland University Eagles at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25.

The Eagles are tied for the most wins in the GLIAC with a 6-1 record, and are 4-0 at home this season.

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