BACK ON TRACK: Wildcats Stop Davenport, 20-14
Click the audio button to hear our interview with NMU's Payton Muljo and DJ Hutcherson. Photo courtesy of NMU sports information.
MARQUETTE---The Northern Michigan University football team (2-1) earned their second win of the season, and first of the year in the Superior Dome, with a 20-14 triumph over the Davenport University Panthers on Saturday.
The visiting Panthers scored a touchdown off a six-yard Deondre Ford run on their first drive of the game to put the Wildcats down early, 7-0.
NMU showed no lack of fight as they made it to the opposing 25-yard line on their first drive of the game after two Drake Davis complete passes, two Davis runs, and a Tyquan Cox rush.
Three minutes and 23 seconds into the drive, Drake Davis found a wide-open Benjamin Loutsis sprinting into the right side of the end zone for the 'Cats first score of the day. Loutsis nabbed the 25-yard pass in the corner of the end zone.
A Daniel Riser kick tied the game at 7-7.
A Davenport drive late in the first half put the visiting team up again 14-7, capped off by a Kyshawn Richards nine-yard run.
With 2:29 left in the opening quarter, the Wildcats took over at the NMU 28 after an Antonio Howard Jr. kick return that went for 23 yards.
Tyshon King opened the drive with a four-yard rush to set up 2nd and 6.
Drake Davis earned a first down on the next play with an 11-yard rush followed by King chipping away and earning a two-yard gain on the ground to set the 'Cats up at their own 45-yard line.
On the next play, Davis dropped back to pass before seeing midfield was full of open, green turf. The sophomore took off down the middle of the field and scored the second NMU touchdown of the day on a 55-yard quarterback keeper.
Riser’s extra point attempt was blocked by the Panthers, however, which made the score 14-13 in favor of the visitors.
The final score of the game, which won the contest for NMU, came in the third quarter of action.
Antonio Howard Jr. returned a Davenport punt 18 yards to the NMU 34 to set up the drive.
After a three-yard King rush and an incomplete pass, the Wildcats broke off two huge running plays which moved them onto the Panther's side of the field.
The first run was a Drake Davis 16-yard run and the second was a King 17 yarder.
With a 1st and 10 at the Davenport 30 yard line, King rushed the ball for three yards.
The following play saw Drake Davis find Wyatt Davis running into the end zone after beating two defenders. A 27-yard Davis to Davis pass scored the game-winning touchdown.
The Riser extra point kick was good to make the score 20-14 which would hold the rest of the way in the Wildcat win.
Drake Davis had a game for himself as the sophomore threw for two touchdowns and ran another in. He had a total of 132 yards on the ground with 176 through the air on 17-28 passing.
Tyshon King had 97 yards in the NMU ground game with a long of 22 and an average of 6.5 yards per carry.
For the receivers, Loutsis had 97 receiving yards and a touchdown with an average of 13.9 yards. Wyatt Davis followed with 44 yards receiving and the game-winning touchdown grab.
Will Borchert led the Wildcat defense with 12 total tackles. Borchert and Andre Whitley shared a team-high eight solo tackles.
Brady Hanson had a tackle that went for a four-yard loss while Whitley and Jacob Dudeck combined for a sack that led to a one-yard loss.
Michael Nehf and Colt Doherty also combined for another NMU sack.
Ford led Davenport by completing 15 of 27 passes for 168 yards. Seth Acda had 39 yards on six carries to be the Panthers' leading rusher.
The Wildcats hit the road for the second time this season next week as they are set to travel to Northwood University on Saturday. Kick-off for the GLIAC contest is slated for 1 p.m.
You’ll hear it live on FM-100.3 in Marquette, FM-93.5/AM-600 in Escanaba, and on-line at www.rrnsports.com.