INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The Northern Michigan University football team (0-1, 0-1 GLIAC) opened up its 2007 season on the road. The Wildcats were looking to win back-to-back opening games of the season for the first time since the 1997 and 1998 seasons. NMU scored on its first possession of the game to take the early lead, but that was not enough as the ‘Cats kept it close and lost to the University of Indianapolis Greyhounds (1-0, 1-0 GLIAC) by a score of 24-22.
NMU received the opening kickoff of the game and used 6:30 off the clock in 12 plays to take the early 7-0 lead when Zach Nichols hauled in the seven-yard strike from Buddy Rivera. The extra point was good. The ‘Cats held the lead until the home team scored in the second quarter at 12:57 when Tyran Fakes caught an eight-yard pass from Casey Gillin. With the good extra point the score was seven-all.
The third quarter saw UIndy take the lead for good when the Greyhounds scored at 9:25 on a nine-yard pass from Gillin to Nick Johnson. The extra point was good and UIndy was now up 14-7. NMU would cut the score to 14-10 when Jon Laue connected on a 32-yard field goal with 6:20 showing on the clock. Kyle Mossbrucker gave the home team a seven-point cushion (17-10) when he split the uprights for a 27-yard field goal with 2:46 left in the quarter.
The final 15 minutes of the game saw the ‘Cats score twice, but it was not enough. About 45 seconds into the quarter Mark Bossuah found the end zone from one-yard out to get the ‘Cats within one at 17-16. NMU was called for a penalty on the extra point attempt as the ‘Cats were moved back five yards and the kick was no good. The Greyhounds answered at 9:32 when Eric Wright ran in the ball from eight yards out. The kick was good and UIndy had an eight-point lead at 24-16. Nichols then caught his second TD pass of the night from Rivera from 23 yards out with 49 ticks left on the clock. The two-point conversion failed and the ‘Cats now trailed 24-22.
NMU recovered the on-side kick. The ‘Cats moved the ball seven yards in four plays and lost the ball on downs.
Total offense was almost even. NMU had 361 yards in total offense while UIndy had 363. On the ground the Greyhounds had the edge at 128 yards to 57 for NMU. Through the air NMU passed for 304 yards while the Greyhounds had 235. NMU held the ball for a little bit longer than the home team. The ‘Cats had the ball for 30:18 of the game while UIndy held onto it for 29:42.
Rivera led the ‘Cats with 304 yards passing on 29-44-1 and rushed for five yards on nine carries. Bossuah led the ‘Cats on the ground with 34 yards on 12 carries. Fred Wells had a game-high 11 catches for 124 yards. Nichols ended the game with four catches for 45 yards.
NMU will host Hillsdale next week (Sept. 8) for its home opener for the 2007 season.
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Sports Information Director