Story and photo courtesy of Michigan Tech Athletics
HOUGHTON, Mich. - Seven different Michigan Tech players scored touchdowns to help the homestanding Huskies earn a 51-15 victory over Tiffin in their season opener today at Sherman Field. Tech jumped out to a 24-0 lead in the first 18 minutes of the game and never looked back.
A 79-yard pass from Tyler Scarlett to Matt Curtin on the Huskies' second play from scrimmage set the tone. The Black and Gold went on to add touchdowns on a punt return, another pass, three runs and a fumble return.
"We were sloppy and squandered some points, but by-in-large, we never let them get a chance to get rolling," said head coach Tom Kearly. "We scored some points unconventionally, and that always helps."
Michigan Tech racked up 494 yards of total offense. More impressive was the Huskies' young defense, which held the Dragons to 269 total yards—just seven rushing.
Tiffin had 11 offensive possessions in which it ran four plays or fewer. After Tech's first score and two straight three-and-outs by the visitors, Alex Elsenheimer extended the 7-0 lead with a 28-yard punt return. The senior, who is also a starting wide receiver, took the ball on a hop and found the endzone for Tech's first punt return TD since 2007 (Bobby Slowik).
The Huskies added to the lead in the second quarter with a 22-yard Garrett Mead field goal and a one-yard run from fullback Cole Welch.
TU broke up the shutout late in the first half with a 42-yard passing play.
Michigan Tech committed itself to the run game in the second half and if paid off. The hosts gained 163 yards on the ground after halftime including scoring runs from Cedrick Barber (10 yards) and Akeem Cason (six yards).
Tight end Bryan LaChapelle caught his 11th career TD pass on a beautifully throw ball to the corner of the endzone from Scarlett (who finished 15-for-23 for 276 yards).
Tiffin scored its second touchdown of the game on a 20-yard pass in the fourth quarter and was succesful on a two-point conversion try.
Freshman linebacker Paul Kuoppala wrapped up scoring when he picked up a loose ball at the Tiffin 32 after Dan Perrault had stripped TU quarterback James Capello.
Perrault had a team-high nine tackles including two sacks on the day. Fellow linebackers Kuoppala and Taylor Ziolkowski add seven tackles apiece.
Sophomore Charlie Leffingwell led a host of running backs employed by Tech with 81 yards on just 13 carries.
Michigan Tech will return to action on the road next week, making the trip to Canton, Ohio, to take on GLIAC newcomer Walsh.