MARQUETTE, Mich. – A sleeping animal could describe the Northern Michigan University football team on Saturday against Mercyhurst College in the Superior Dome. Down 28-17 at the half the Wildcats came back to take the second half 28-3 and the game 45-31. NMU only had 159 yards of total offense after 30 minutes of play and ended the game with 474 yards. The win was the ‘Cats second in a row. They have now won three of its last four games. NMU is 3-5 on the season overall and in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC). The Lakers fall to 4-6 overall and 3-6 in the conference.
The two teams traded touchdowns on their first possessions of the game. MC took its opening drive of the game and went 10 plays and 65 yards to take the 7-0 lead when Richard Stokes took it in from two yards out (11:03). NMU answered with its own drive of six plays and 63 yards as it was capped off by Mark Bossuah’s 28-yard run the extra point was good as the score was tied at seven-all. The Lakers would score on their second possession of the game to take a 14-7 lead. Josh Szeluga caught a two-yard pass from Mitch Phillis at 5:11 of the quarter.
Anthony Leandri cut the Lakers lead to 14-10 when he connected from 30 yards out at 7:45 of the second quarter. The Lakers would add 14 points with two touchdowns within a four minute span. Stokes scored his second touchdown on the day at 5:12 from one-yard to make the count 21-10 with the good extra point. At 1:08 left before half, Szeluga hauled in a 34-yard pass from Phillis to give the Lakers the 28-10 lead. NMU answered right before half when Nichols took in a six-yard strike from Buddy Rivera with nine ticks left on the clock (28-17).
MC’s only score in the second half was a 38-yard field goal by Chris Ryan at 8:08 of the third quarter (31-17). NMU then ran off 21 points in the quarter. Fred Wells had a 62-yard touchdown reception compliments of Rivera at 7:48 (extra point good) as the ‘Cats were now down 31-24.
Bossuah then scored the next three touchdowns to put the game away. His first scored was from 11 yards out with 2:31 showing on the clock to tie it up at 31-all. Bossuah gave the ‘Cats the lead for good when he sprinted 57 yards for a score with 41 seconds left in the quarter (38-31). Bossuah’s final score, his fourth of the game, came on a two-yard burst at 8:31 of the fourth quarter (45-31). The four rushing touchdowns is a new Superior Dome record.
Bossuah led all rushers with 220 yards on 31 carries. It was his third game of the season with 200 or more yards rushing. Rivera ended the game with 230 yards passing on 14-23-0. Nichols led the ‘Cats with four receptions for 56 yards.
MC ended the game with 434 yards of total offense (185 yards rushing and 249 yards passing). NMU ended the game with 244 yards rushing and 230 yards passing.
NMU will end the season by playing its final two games of the 2007 schedule on the road. Next week (Nov. 3) the ‘Cats will make the trip to Erie, Pa. to take on the Golden Knights of Gannon University.
Sports Information Director