Michigan Tech Football manhandles Davenport in Homecoming

Huskies visit Wayne State next weekend
Published: Oct. 2, 2021 at 10:53 PM EDT
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HOUGHTON, Mich. (WLUC) - With four forced fumbles, a pair of interceptions, and a blocked field goal, Michigan Tech football rolled to a convincing 31-7 homecoming victory over Davenport University Saturday afternoon at Kearly Stadium. William Marano led the ground game with 90 yards and one touchdown and the Huskies ended their four-game homestand with an even 2-2 record. Tech also picked up its first Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference win as the Panthers fell to 1-4 (0-1 GLIAC).

“I’m very proud of our team and the way they came out and performed today,” said head coach Steve Olson. “I’m also proud of our coaching staff and how they prepared us to be ready for this game. We expected them (Davenport) to come out and try to shut us down man-to-man but fortunately, we were still able to establish the run early on, which really helped us. We have some offensive weapons and we knew it was just a matter of time before we would be able to make some big plays. Those plays and being able to get yards after contact were key.”

The Huskies nabbed their first lead with 10:36 to play in the first quarter. Quarterback Will Ark tossed a screen pass to Darius Willis near the Davenport sideline. Willis then evaded a tackle and scampered 48 yards for the touchdown.

Three minutes later, Tech took advantage of a Davenport punt return miscue. Brandon Michalek dove on the loose ball and gave the Huskies great field position. Marano spun away from a would-be tackle near the line of scrimmage and ran it in from 15 yards for a 14-0 advantage.

One their first possession of the second quarter, the Huskies commanded a 12-play, 54-yard drive which ended in a one-yard quarterback keeper touchdown by Ark.

Amonte Phillips grabbed a pass from Davenport quarterback Deondre Ford in the back-right side of the endzone to answer for the Panthers but the Huskies scored again before halftime. Austin Schlicht forced a fumble and turned it into seven points after Ark scrambled to his right and found Hunter Richards wide open up the middle of the field.

Michael Bates Jr. picked off Ford at the end of the third quarter with Huskies ahead 28-7 and Tech continued to bring strong pressure up the middle. Sam Kinne rushed in for a sack and forced fumble, eventually recovered by Fred KempDrew Wyble subsequently connected on a 19-yard field goal for MTU.

Freshman Jacob Newman made a positive impact with a blocked field goal in the third quarter.

Ark finished 8-20 for 113 yards and a pair of touchdowns (one rushing). Marano posted 21 rush attempts for 90 yards and one touchdown (17 long). Darius Willis made three catches for 57 yards and one touchdown. Hunter Richards made two catches for 37 yards and one score. Ark was also effective punting with one 62 yard punt for an average of 42.8 yards. Mark Sippel led the team in tackles (10 total, two unassisted). Marvin Wright (nine tackles) and John Paramski (eight tackles) were also highly visible.

Ford attempted 30 passes with 17 completions, one touchdown, and two interceptions for DU. Phillips led all receivers with 119 yards and one touchdown. Kysha Richards netted 94 yards in the backfield on 13 rushing attempts. The Huskies managed eight sacks for 55 yards lost. Schlicht accounted for 2.5 sacks.

“Davenport has a number of skill guys that can make plays, including their quarterback,” Olson said. “We were able to get good pressure on him consistently and get their run game off just enough to turn things. It always to create turnovers as well, which we were able to do. That way it became easier to play with a lead in the second half because they couldn’t run the ball as often.”

The Huskies (2-2, 1-0) travel to Wayne State (0-4, 0-0) on Saturday, October 9 for a 6 p.m. EST start. It is the only evening contest on this season’s schedule.

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