Football falls to Ashland


Trevor Drew

The Northern Michigan Football team tallied their fourth loss of the season this weekend as they fell 38-13 to NCAA Division II’s 16th ranked team, the Ashland University Eagles.

Despite managing to score on their first possession for the third consecutive game, an 18-yard field goal by freshman kicker Dalton Ray, head coach Kyle Nystrom said that the defense had effort but lacked proper coverage technique, adding that the backfield’s performance was not up to par.

“We got rattled, and we can’t be that way,” Nystrom said. “Maybe that works in high school, and you can get away with it, but not in college.”

The Wildcats surrendered 528 yards of total offense with 295 coming in the air.

On the other side of the game, offensive coordinator Marty Higgins said that there isn’t a lack of effort on the offensive side rather, the attacking squad does not perform consistently enough.

Higgins said that although freshman quarterback Ryan Johnson still makes “freshman mistakes,” the young quarterback has had a commendable performance so far, noting that the team has yet to see an offensive turnover since he took over as signal caller.

Johnson threw for 169 yards and found freshman Ravon Johnson in the end zone for a 6-yard touchdown pass, the ’Cats’ only touchdown of the game.

“It’s a learning process for him but he’s doing a good job,” Higgins said. “He’s a good leader. You can see when he goes down, you’ve got three linemen helping him up right away.”

The Wildcats now gear up to face off against the Tiffin University Dragons at their home field, Frost Kalnow Stadium.

Tiffin stands tied for third with Ferris State Bulldogs, sporting a 3-1 conference record. Last week, the two teams faced off and the Dragons fell 13-3 to the Bulldogs, who are ranked 15th in the NCAA.

The Dragons’ average 382.2 yards per game, with 172.3 yards on the ground and 208.8 in
the air.

“I think that playing the quality of players we just played against in Ashland is going to help us get ready for this team [Tiffin],” Nystrom said.

He added that the team must carry on what they work on in practice into games, noting that the team is slow to apply new concepts.

“It’s like that movie ‘Knight and Day’ with Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz,” Nystrom said. “‘Someday. Someday we’re going to be where we want to be.’”