Football ’Cats host No. 1 Ferris State Bulldogs

AnnMarie Kent

The football ’Cats host the nationally-ranked Ferris State University Bulldogs after getting their first win on the road over the weekend at Walsh

NMU played the Walsh University Cavaliers on Saturday, Oct. 31 at Tom Benson Stadium in North Canton, Ohio.

The team played well together and was united as a group head coach Chris Ostrowsky said. Every aspect of the game went well, the defense and offense as well as the special teams.

The Wildcats came out ahead with a 35-17 win over the Cavaliers, bringing NMU to a winning record of 5-4.

“It feels good, showing that our hard work is finally paying off,” senior defensive back Brandon Auguste said. “Our offseason workouts are finally showing throughout the season.”

Junior quarterback Shaye Brown threw three touchdowns, connecting with senior wide receiver Marcus Tucker and twice sophomore wide receiver Keyondre Craig to give the Wildcats a 21-3 lead at the end of the first quarter.

After a scoreless second quarter, Brown threw a third pass to Craig that was taken in for another touchdown, increasing the lead 28-10.

In the fourth quarter sophomore running back Aaron Harris ran the ball 15 yards to finish the game for the ’Cats.

The win over Walsh was the first victory on the road for the ’Cats this season, and for Ostrowsky it marked the next phase of the football program.

“We clearly have created a culture where we’re pretty good at home,” Ostrowsky said. “You got to be really good on the road as well if you’re going to be playing in the off-season.”

With the four touchdowns thrown against Walsh, Brown has 23 touchdowns this season breaking the Wildcat record set by Matt Hoard during the 1996 season.

The Wildcats take on the Ferris State Bulldogs at 1 p.m. on Saturday Nov. 7 at the Superior Dome. The Bulldogs are ranked No. 1 in the GLIAC, as well as being ranked No. 3 in NCAA rankings.

While there’s no question in Ostrowsky’s mind that Ferris is a good team, he believes NMU can measure up.

Senior defensive line for the Bulldogs Justin Zimmer was honored by the GLIAC with defensive player of the week for the week of Oct. 19-25. During the Oct. 24 game against Michigan Tech Zimmer posted a game and career-high 19 tackles, with seven solos and 12 assisted tackles. The defensive play by the Bulldogs caused four turnovers, stopping Tech from a touchdown twice within the 5-yard line.

Practice this week is crucial for technique.

Ferris toppled the Lake Erie Storm 70-19 on Saturday, Oct. 31, continuing the Bulldogs’ 23-straight-regular-season winning streak. The last regular season loss they suffered was against the Hillsdale College Chargers on Oct. 19, 2013.

Senior quarterback Jason Vander Laan lead the team in both passing yards and rushing yards against the Storm, with 200 passing yards and 105 rushing yards.

Saturday is senior day at the Dome and the senior Wildcats will play their final game on their home field.

“I know it’s going to hurt walking out of that ’Cat head for the last time, getting dressed in here for the last time,” Tucker said. “The small simple things that I’m able to do on a regular Saturday game day, I’m just going to try to soak it all in. I know that this is my last rodeo.”