NMU Football drops first road game of season to Davenport

Wildcats 7-0 lead vanishes in first half
 (NMU Graphic)
(NMU Graphic) (WLUC)
Published: Sep. 17, 2022 at 3:40 PM EDT
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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WLUC) - The Northern Michigan University football team hit the road for the first time this season, as they traveled to Davenport University to take on the Panthers. The Panthers came out on top 31-21 over the Wildcats.

FIRST QUARTER The Panthers won the coin toss and elected to defer to the second half.The Wildcats got off to a roaring start as they moved the ball down the field and Drake Davis connected with Wyatt Davis for a 35-yard touchdown to put the Wildcats out in front early. The Panthers were able to answer right back with a touchdown of their own to tie the game at 7. After a three-and-out by the Wildcats, the Panthers got the ball back and drove it down the field. They were able to punch it into the endzone to give them a 14-7 lead late in the first quarter. Panthers 14, Wildcats 7 after one quarter of play.

SECOND QUARTER The Wildcats were forced to punt, Daniel Riser kicked a high arcing punt down to the Panther return man, who coughed it up, and Mequon Hudson was able to jump on it and give the ball back to the Wildcats. A missed field goal by the Wildcats gave the Panthers the ball back. A few plays later John McMullen met the defender in the backfield, and Brian Schieweck came in to finish of the huge tackle for loss. The Wildcats forced a punt. On the first play of the drive, a Panthers defender jumped a route and came up with an interception that he returned for a touchdown. The Panthers went up 21-7. The next drive, Drake Davis connected with Charlie Gerhard for a 13-yard gain and a first down. On third and two, Drake Davis was able to take the QB sneak and convert another first down for the Wildcats. The Wildcats were forced to punt it away. A defensive stand by the Wildcats forced the Panthers to punt it right back to them. The Panthers jumped in front of another pass and came up with another interception. The first play of the Panthers drive after the interception, Antonio Howard came flying off the edge to come up with a sack and a forced fumble, that was recovered by Brian Schieweck. After the fumble the Drake Davis connected with Brenden Sersaw for a 10-yard gain and a first down. Then Brock Franklin was able to punch it in the endzone from two yards out to get the Wildcats some points before the half. At halftime the score was Panthers 21, Wildcats 14.

THIRD QUARTER The Panthers got the ball first to start the second half. The Panthers were able to move the ball into Wildcat territory, where the defense rose to the occasion. On 3rd and 8, a deep pass down the field was broken up by DJ Hutherson. Antonio Howard had a QB hurry on the play as well. The Panthers were forced to settle for a field goal. The field goal was good, and the Panthers led 24-14. On the Wildcats first drive of the second half Drake Davis found Brenden Sarsaw for an eight yard completion. They were faced with a 3rd and short. Drake Davis took the QB sneak and was able to move the chains. A few plays later, Drake Davis found Wyatt Davis down the left sideline for a 36-yard gain. Davis made a spectacular catch, high pointing the ball over the defender and was able to get a foot inbounds. The next play Drake Davis found Tyshon King in the flats, King was able to out run the defender and sneak inside the right pylon for a Wildcat touchdown. The PAT was good and the Wildcats inched closer. Panthers 24, Wildcats 21. The Panthers were able to methodically move the ball down the field. They connected on a five yard touchdown pass to go up 31-21. After three quarters of play the Panthers led the Wildcats 31-21.

FOURTH QUARTER On 3rd and 13, John McMullen was able to get home for the sack and forced a Panther punt. A very good punt had the Wildcats pinned down at the one yard line. A five yard rush got them out from the shadow of their endzone. Tyshon King then ripped off a 12-yard rush. Faced with a 3rd and 7, Drake Davis used his legs to pick up another first down on a nine yard gain. Wyatt Davis came up with another incredible catch, reaching out with one hand and pulling it in. Drake Davis put that pass where only Wyatt Davis could get it. That completion was good for a 28-yard gain. Tyshon King took the handoff and ran around the right side and picked up 16-yards and yet another Wildcat first down. The Wildcats set themselves up for a field goal attempt. The attempt was no good and the score stayed 31-21 in favor of the Panthers. The Panthers got the ball back with just over five minutes left, they were able to get a few first downs and ice the game. Panthers 31, Wildcats 21.

HIGHLIGHTS Drake Davis connected with Wyatt Davis for a 35-yard touchdown. Brock Franklin found the endzone on a two yard rush. Drake Davis found Tyshon King for a seven yard touchdown. Antonio Howard had a sack and forced fumble, Mequon Hudson recovered the fumble.

STAT LEADERS Drake Davis finished 12-24, 167 yards, 2 touchdowns. Tyshon King led the way on the ground with 15 carries for 76 yards, King also had a seven yard receiving touchdown. Wyatt Davis was the leading receiver with 3 catches for 99 yards and a touchdown. Antonio Howard had 15 total tackles on the day (8 solo, 7 assisted). Howard also had a sack and a forced fumble. John McMullen and Jackson Malcolm each had a sack.

UP NEXTThe Wildcats will return home to play host to Post University for Homecoming on Saturday September 24th at 2 p.m.