Press Box

Christian Jessie
Christian Jessie

MARQUETTE, Mich. – The NMU football team looks to open the season 2-0 for the first time since 2006 as the Wildcats hit the road to Ohio to take on the Findlay Oilers. Kickoff is set for noon from Donnell Stadium.

Findlay is 0-1 and 0-1 in the GLIAC as they started the season at Northwood last week, losing 14-10 on a rainy day in Midland, Mich. The Oilers have lost nine straight dating back to last season. Head coach Rob Keys is in his first season as the Oiler head football coach. He worked with the defense and speical teams at Findlay from 2000-04. Keys was an assistant coach at the New Hampshire, Slippery Rock, Indiana State and West Virginia. Keys played for the WVU Mountaineers.

The Wildcats and Oilers faced each other in the Superior Dome in the second game of the season in 2010. NMU won 49-10. The ‘Cats had 370 yards of offense. Carter Kopach was 17-for-24 for five touchdowns and an interception. Receiver Dustin Brancheau had four catches for 100 yards and three touchdowns. Eddie Knoblock, Matt Forward, Jeff Smith and Marcus Tribble all had an interception for NMU.

NMU leads the all-time series 10-5, dating back to 1954. NMU is 4-3 at Findlay.

NMU defeated Minnesota State-Mankato 31-24 in its season and home opener from the Superior Dome. Jacob Lehman made a late interception in his own endzone to seal the win for NMU. Julian Gaines had a 19-yard touchdown reception on a fourth and one to take the lead.

The NMU offense tallied 288 yards (141 rushing, 147 passing) on 56 plays (5.1 yards per play). The ‘Cats had 18 first downs, scored three touchdowns and had zero turnovers. Carter Kopach threw 13-for-19 for 147 yards a two touchdowns. He also rushed 18 times for 80 yards. Prince Young and John Privitelli split time in the backfield. Young had 11 rushes for 24 yards. Privitelli rushed six times for 26 yards. Christian Jessie had four receptions for 63 yards and a touchdown. Christian Marble-King had four receptions for 29 yards and a rushing touchdown. Julian Gaines had two receptions for 39 yards and a touchdown.

The NMU defense gave up 295 yards of offense to the Mavericks. The ‘Cats had one interception and five sacks. Eddie Knoblock led the team with nine tackles (2 solo, 7 assisted). Josh Droese had seven tackles and Junior Michel, and Matt Forward had six tackles. Jacob Lehman had an interception.

Rockne Belmonte made a 43-yard field goal in the third quarter. He also made four PATs. Belmonte averaged 58.7 yards on six kickoffs. Garrett Peck had three punts for 133 yards (44.3 avg.). He had a long of 49 yards. John Privitelli had a 67-yard punt return for a touchdown. He finished with 75 return yards. Christian Jessie had two kick returns for 40 yards.

The game can be heard on 100.3 FM “The Point” as Ryan Beckman and Dan Hardenbrook bring you all the action.

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Prepared By
Calvin Larson
Sports Information