Football hosts Hillsdale for homecoming

Ray Bressette

The NMU football team will be the center of homecoming this weekend when the Wildcats host the Hillsdale-College Chargers Saturday afternoon at the Dome.re-AV_Football 9

“Homecoming’s always a great time for alumni to come back and spend time in their community,” Boss said. “It’s always great for students and former members to represent Northern Michigan University.”

Kickoff between NMU and Hillsdale is set for 4 p.m.

The Wildcats are in the middle of GLIAC play, sitting with a 1-1 record after two weeks of play.

The ’Cats won their home opener last weekend 31-14 over the GLVC’s Quincy University Hawks, but fell to Northwood University in their season opener, which has been their only conference game this season.

Ostrowsky said the Wildcat defense has led the ’Cats through their first two games, holding opponents to 370.5 yards per game as well as an average of 17 points per game.

Junior linebacker LJ Liston is the GLIAC’s fourth leading tackler through two games this season, averaging 11 a game.

Senior defensive lineman Dante Holmes has earned two sacks for NMU.

The Wildcat offense has been led by junior quarterback Shaye Brown and senior wide receiver Marcus Tucker, with the two connecting for four touchdowns in the first two games. Senior runningback Wyatt Jurasin has earned 89 rushing yards, but left Saturday’s game against Quincy due to injury.

Sophomore running back Aaron Harris filled in for Wyatt Saturday, and has racked up 88 yards with one touchdown.

The Hillsdale Chargers enter this weekend at 1-1 overall and in GLIAC play, falling to Findlay 45-34 on Sept. 5 before rebounding with a 52-29 win over Lake Erie College on Saturday, Sept. 12.

Senior quarterback CJ Misfud has a 57.5 completion percentage, throwing for 346 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Sophomore runningback Bennett Lewis IS the GLIAC’s leading rusher with 278 yards, three touchdowns and one fumble. NMU senior linebacker Levi Perry said playing Hillsdale is always a competitive battle.

“Hillsdale’s a very good team,” they’re always good in the GLIAC, but our coaches always prepare us well all week for big games like this. We have to come out and protect our homefield. We’re 0-1 in the GLIAC, so it’s important for us to get a conference win, and we’re looking forward to it.”

For NMU, Brown had a turnaround this past week, after throwing for 195 yards and three interceptions in the opening week to improve his game against Quincy with 353 passing yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.

Last season, the Wildcats dropped a 13-10 contest to Hillsdale on Sept. 20.

The ’Cats held a 3-0 lead heading into the fourth quarter, and had a chance to tie the game with a field goal trailing 13-10 with 31 seconds remaining, but freshman kicker Ryan LaBerge’s 33-yard field goal attempt missed wide left to give the Chargers the win.

Brown said evening their GLIAC record is huge this weekend. “It’s big, we’re winless in the GLIAC, they’re coming to our place and it’s going to be a battle,” Brown said. “It was a close game last year, we’re going to be watching film on them all week, and it’s going to be a dogfight.

Perry said his fellow seniors will enjoy the moment for their last homecoming.

“Every game is our last in every situation, and I can’t wait,” Perry said. “Every game will be fun for me, and the whole team has to give it our all. Homecoming makes it an extra stage, but it should be fun.”