BIG RAPIDS, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University football team was trailing the Ferris State University Bulldogs 7-6 with less than 30 seconds left in the first half on Saturday. But that was as close as the Wildcats would get on the day as they lost on the road by a score of 31-13. NMU is still searching for its first win of the season as the team is now 0-4 overall and in the conference (GLIAC) the Bulldogs improve to 3-2 (overall) and 2-2 (GLIAC).
Anthony Leandri scored all six points off his leg in the first half. His first score came at 3:53 of the first quarter to give the ‘Cats a 3-0 lead when he connected from 31 yards out. The Bulldogs would answer with a touchdown at 1:06 to take the 7-6 lead, when C.J. Van Wieren took it in from two yards out.
Leandri kicked a 27-yard field goal with 22 seconds left in the first half to get the ‘Cats within one. FSU with two ticks left on the clock kicked a 45-yard field goal to take the lead (10-6) into the locker room.
FSU would score 21 unanswered points in the second half to take control of the game. At 8:55 of the third quarter, Nate Fricke was on the receiving end of a 23-yard TD strike from Van Weren to give the home team the 17-6 lead. Paris Holloman made the score 24-6 when he scored from seven yards out with 41 seconds left in the quarter.
Jeff Hollandsworth gave the Bulldogs its biggest lead of the game (31-6) when he returned a fumble recovery 10 yards for a score at 3:10 of the fourth quarter. Ben Hempel seeing some playing time threw his first career touchdown pass. He found Dustin Brancheau for a 23-yard pass with less than a minute left in the game (00:52) for the final score. Hempel ended the game by going 3-6-0 for 41 yards.
The Bulldogs had a slight edge in total offense as FSU accounted for 420 yards (207 on the ground and 213 in the air) for the game while the ‘Cats had 404. NMU had 142 yards on the ground and 262 in the air. Mark Bossuah led all rushers with 119 yards on 16 carries. Buddy Rivera was 19-35-1 for 221 yards, but was sacked five times. Dan Elmore had a game-high eight receptions for 88 yards.
Nicholas Bloch and Nathan Yelk led the ‘Cats on defense with 11 total tackles each. Bloch had six solo and five assisted while Yelk had four solo and seven assisted.
NMU will be at home next week for Homecoming. The ‘Cats will host the Northwood Timberwolves at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 6.
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Sports Information Director