Story and photo courtesy of Northern Michigan Athletics
MIDLAND, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University football team picked up its first road win of the season on its final road trip of the season on Saturday (Oct. 27). The Wildcats scored a touchdown in the each of the first three quarters and defeated the Northwood Timberwolves 21-13 from Hantz Stadium.
With the win, NMU is now 3-6 overall and 2-6 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The ‘Cats wrap up the season with two home games against Saginaw Valley State and Ferris State on the next two Saturdays.
Junior receiver Christian Jessie scored the first two NMU touchdowns on receptions from junior quarterback Cody Scepaniak. The first was scored with 1:18 left in the first quarter as the two hooked up for a 60-yard touchdown reception. NMU went 74 yards in three plays to take the lead after Northwood got on the board first on a 38-yard reception from Mark Morris to Carrington Thompson but missed the point after try.
Two and a half minutes into the second quarter, NMU took an eight-point lead with a 55-yard touchdown pass from Scepaniak to Jessie. It was another quick five-play, 84-yard drive.
Northwood (4-5, 3-5 GLIAC) pulled to within one (14-13) on a two-yard touchdown run by Jordan Jonker midway through the third quarter.
NMU scored its final touchdown on the very next drive as Scepaniak dashed one yard to the endzone after a 13-play, 54-yards drive.
The Timberwolves missed a field goal in the fourth quarter, were intercepted in the endzone by redshirt freshman Levi Perry and had the ball deep in NMU territory but threw two incomplete passes from the eight yard line and turned the ball over on downs with 11 seconds left.
The Wildcats finished with 361 yards of total offense on 179 rushing and 182 yards passing. NMU was 4-for-12 on third down and 1-for-2 on fourth down.
Scepaniak finished 9-for-18 for 182 yards passing with two touchdowns and an interception. He also rushed 25 times for a game-high 133 yards and a touchdown. Junior Casey Cotta finished with 47 rushing yards on 14 carries. Jessie had 126 yards receiving on three catches, including two for touchdowns.
Sophomore Nick Krause and senior Zach Anderson led the defense with 10 total tackles each. Krause had eight solo tackles, two assisted, one and a half tackles for loss, a forced fumble and a broken up pass. Senior Eddie Knoblock chipped in with six total tackles.
Northern hosts Saginaw Valley State at 1 p.m. on Nov. 3 at the Superior Dome.