Football drops another conference matchup

Football+drops+another+conference+matchup

Ryan Spitza

The Northern Michigan University Football team fell on the road last Saturday to Saginaw Valley State (SVSU) 30-10 at Wickes Stadium.

The Wildcats are now 1-6 on the season with a 0-5 mark in the GLIAC. The Cardinals improved to 6-1 overall with a 3-1 GLIAC record.

In an interview with The Mining Journal on Tuesday, NMU head coach Kyle Nystrom said his team was forced to adjust in the second half after the Cardinals got their run game going.
“We played very well in the first half against the run and SVSU is a team that tries to stay balanced,” Nystrom said. “They have an excellent quarterback and they have a marquee receiver and the rest of them are pretty good too.

“We had plenty of opportunities. We just were inconsistent on offense executing. We had four 3rd-and-4’s that we didn’t execute. We had good plays called and we just didn’t make the right read and didn’t make the right throw. So we keep working on those things. Kole (Stealy) played at quarterback and then Latrell (Giles) came in late. It was a hard-fought game and they’re very good. We played well and we played very hard. We played well in certain phases. We’ve got to get better against the pass and in our one-on-ones and that’s what we’re always constantly striving to do.”

NMU found itself down 7-0 early after SVSU took its second drive of the game to the end zone in just two plays. The second play of the drive was a 78-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Ryan Conklin to sophomore wide receiver Chad Gailliard for a 7-0 lead. The possession took just 39 seconds.

Conklin found Gailliard again later in the first quarter for another touchdown connection and an added field goal early in the second quarter put the Cardinals up 17-0.

The Wildcats got on the board with 5:37 left in the first half on a 22-yard field goal from freshman kicker Daniel Riser to make it a 17-3 game at halftime.

SVSU added two more touchdowns in the second half, while NMU found the end zone late on a two-yard rush from sophomore quarterback Latrell Giles with 4:27 left.

NMU freshman quarterback Kole Stealy went 9-of-23 passing for 115 yards and three interceptions. Senior running back Jake Mayon led the Wildcats on the ground with 118 yards rushing on 26 carries. Freshman receiver Isaiah Popp led NMU receivers with two catches for 34 yards.

Defensively, sophomore safety Brady Hanson and freshman linebacker Isaac Darkangelo had 14 tackles each for the Wildcats.

NMU now looks ahead to two straight home contests, the first one being against National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) opponent, the Lawrence Tech University (LTU) Blue Devils, before hosting the Michigan Tech University Huskies on Oct. 27.

Before looking ahead to the Huskies, LTU is an opponent the Wildcats cannot take lightly by any means.

The 5-1 Blue Devils have outscored their opponents 302-81 this season. However the NAIA school has yet to play an NCAA opponent this season.

Nystrom said despite LTU being an NAIA opponent, he doesn’t overlook that and has been friends with head coach Jeff Duvendeck for a long time.

“I’ve watched them and they execute very well,” he said. They’re very well-coached and Duvendeck and his staff do a great job putting that together. That’s a program that’s been up and running for two years. So the first year, I’m not positive, but it was ‘let’s recruit, let’s practice, formulate the team and get them started.’ And then this year, they’re playing games. I don’t look at the caliber of their opponents as much as how I watch them execute at what they do. I’m very impressed. It will be a humdinger.”
Kickoff from the Superior Dome is set for 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct 20.