BIG RAPIDS, Mich. (WLUC) – The Northern Michigan University Football team recovered five fumbles by #2 Ferris State University in a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference matchup but were unable to pull out the upset as the Wildcats fell 38-10.
RECOVERING THE BALL
In the first quarter, sophomore Jacob Dudeck (Manhattan, Ill.) forced the first fumble which was recovered by sophomore Anthony Ladd (Columbus, Ohio.) and returned nine yards.
The Wildcats ensuing drive started deep in their own territory and they were forced to punt, but the Bulldogs fumbled it which was recovered by senior James Brown (Menominee, Mich.) to put NMU back on offense.
On the first play of the second quarter, junior Brady Hanson (Kewaskum, Wis.) forced the ball out of the ball carriers hands and it was recovered by sophomore Isaac Darkangelo (Brighton, Mich.).
The Wildcat defense forced another fumble to open the third quarter. FSU started the half with the ball and on their first play, sophomore Edward Pierson (Calumet, Park, Ill.) forced a fumble which freshman Tavion McCarthy (Gurnee, Ill.) recovered to set up NMU in FSU territory and the drive ended in a field goal for the Wildcats.
After a touchdown in the fourth quarter, the Wildcats kicked off and the Bulldogs fumbled on the return which NMU recovered.
ON THE BOARD
After McCarthy recovered the team's fourth fumble to open the third quarter, NMU started the FSU 31-yard line. On the first play, NMU was stopped for no gain, but sophomore quarterback Ryan Johnson (De Pere, Wis.) found junior receiver Ravon Johnson (Willowbrook, Ill.) for 22 yards, to put NMU inside the 10.
Two incomplete pass were followed by a run for six from sophomore running back Sebastion Toland (Jackson, Mich.) to move NMU to the FSU three-yard line which brought up fourth down. Sophomore Daniel Riser (Ada, Mich.) put the 20-yard field goal between the uprights and put the Wildcats on the board, making the score 17-3.
FINDING THE ENDZONE
In the fourth quarter, NMU started a drive from their own 23 with 10:55 left in the game. Junior Cullen Heimburger (Wheaton, Ill.) rushed for three yards to start the drive, then sophomore Benjamin Loutsis (Aurora, Ill.) added five more on the ground. Freshman Tyshon King (Kankakee, Ill.) gave the Wildcats a first down, putting NMU on their 33-yard line.
On first down, Toland carried it for a yard, then Johnson hit sophomore Connor Bruinius (Grand Rapids, Mich.) for 12 yards. With the ball on the NMU 46, Toland carried it two yards followed by a completed pass to Loutsis. On 3rd and 5, Johnson found Johnson for eight yards, and the duo connected for another eight-yard gain to get the ball down to the FSU 33.
He then hit Johnson a third-straight time, this one for 21 yards and moved the Wildcats down to the Bulldogs 12-yard line. On the next play, Johnson found sophomore Isaiah Popp (Northville, Mich.) for Popp's first career touchdown. Riser put the extra point through and made the score 38-10.
Johnson finished the day with 150 yards and a touchdown. Ravon Johnson finished with 87 yards on five receptions while Loutsis chipped in with four catches for 58 yards.
King tallied 55 yards on the ground and Toland added 37 yards rushing.
Defensively, Darkangelo led the way with 13 total tackles and a fumble recovery. Hanson aided the effort with nine tackles along with a forced fumble.
The Wildcats will now return to the Superior Dome next Saturday and will host Wayne State University for GLIAC action on Family Weekend.