MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Superior Dome was rocking Saturday afternoon as the Northern Michigan University football team hosted the Chargers of Hillsdale College. It was also Family Weekend and Band Day on the NMU campus. A crowd of over 6,000 saw the Chargers and Wildcats battle to retain one of the top spots in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) race. Hillsdale was coming off an impressive win over Grand Valley State last week while the ‘Cast were undefeated at home entering the game.
After the dust had settled the Chargers left Marquette with a 28-17 win. NMU falls to 5-2 overall and in the GLIAC. Hillsdale improves to 6-2 and 5-2 respectively.
After a scoreless first quarter the Chargers struck first with score at 10:59 of the second quarter. Mike Blanchard caught a 20-yard pass from Troy Weatherhead and with the good extra point Hillsdale was up 7-0. A little over three minutes later the ‘Cats answered on a Carter Kopach pass to Zach Nichols from two yards at 7:29. Rockne Belmonte’s extra point kick was good and the game was tied at seven-all.
The second half saw the Chargers score touchdowns on all four of its possessions in the third quarter. Hillsdale took the opening kickoff of the second half and went eight plays for 69 yards to score on a Weatherhead pass to A.J. Kegg from 20 yards at 11:59. The kick was good and the Chargers were up to stay at 14-7. Its next possession the Chargers went 11 plays for 80 yards for a touchdown. Andre Holmes caught a 21-yard pass from Weatherhead (5:25) with the good kick Hillsdale was leading 21-7. Belmonte then kicked a 36-yard field goal, for his longest of the season, with 3:24 left in the quarter for a 21-10 game. Weatherhead then threw another touchdown pass this time to Brian Bergquist for a 32-yard score at the end of the quarter; the extra point was good for a 28-10 game.
Mark Bossuah had the only score in the fourth quarter on a one-yard run with 12:39 left in the game. Belmonte’s kick was good for the final score (28-17).
NMU registered 370 yards of total offense on the day (176 rushing and 194 passing). Hillsdale had a little over 400 yards for the game in total offense with 408 (132 rushing and 276 passing). Vinnie Panizzi led all rushers with 131 yards on 30 carries. Bossuah led the ‘Cats with 79 yards on 16 carries. Kopach accounted for over 180 yards of total offense. He was 15-29-0 for 151 yards and rushed for 31 on seven carries. Thirteen of NMU’s 16 catches were caught by Dustin Brancheau and Nichols with eight and five respectively. Nichols had a game-high 115 receiving yards.
Demitri Stewart led the defense with 13 total tackles (four solo and nine assisted). Nathan Yelk had 11 total tackles on the day with six solo and five assisted.
NMU begins the first of two away from Marquette next week with a trip to Findlay, Ohio to take on the Oilers. Kickoff is set for Saturday (Oct. 24) at noon.
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Sports Information Director