Press Box

Josh McNeil on a punt return.
Josh McNeil on a punt return.

MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan football team hits the road after its two-game home stand. The Wildcats travel to Big Rapids, Mich. to take on the Ferris State Bulldogs. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. on Saturday (Oct. 15) at Top Taggart Field. It is Homecoming week at Ferris.

Ferris State leads the all-time series 16-15-6, dating back to 1946. The Wildcats are 3-7 in the last 10 meetings and have won only one of the last 10 games at FSU.

The Bulldogs are 4-2 overall and 3-2 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The Bulldogs have defeated Hillsdale, Ohio Dominican, Tiffin and Lake Eire while losing to Saginaw Valley State and Findlay.Running back Skyler Stoker (586 yards and five touchdowns) and quarterback Tom Schneider (126-for-175 with 1365 yards and 12 touchdowns) lead the Bulldogs offense.

NMU is 3-3 overall and 2-3 in the GLIAC. Grand Valley visited the Dome last weekend and handed NMU its third loss in a row, 42-7. The Lakers took a 21-0 lead in the second before junior running back Prince Young scored the lone NMU touchdown. GVSU had four interceptions and returned one for 95 yards. The ‘Cats started the season 3-0.

Northern and Ferris met at the Superior Dome on Oct. 16 last year. NMU squeaked out a 22-20 win as Rockne Belmonte made a 31-yard field goal with 4:16 left in the fourth to give the ‘Cats the late lead. Belmonte made two field goals earlier in the game and Dustin Brancheau and John Privitelli scored touchdowns for Northern. Privitelli finished the game with 135 yards rushing.

The Wildcat offense is averaging 358.7 yards per game (138.8 rushing and 219.8 passing). It is 39 percent on third down conversion and 79 percent in the redzone. Prince Young leads the ground attack with 385 yards and two touchdowns. Senior quarterback Carter Kopach has 328 yards on the ground with two touchdowns and 1,319 yards passing with 11 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Wide receivers redshirt freshman Julian Gaines, senior Christian Jessie and sophomore Christian Marble-King each have over 250 yards receiving.

Junior defensive lineman Zach Anderson leads the defense with 41 total tackles on 20 solo and 21 assisted tackles. He also leads the team with three sacks and seven tackles-for-loss. Junior linebacker Josh Droese has 38 total tackles. Senior defensive lineman Matt Forward has 33 tackles, five and a half tackles-for-loss and two sacks. The ‘Cats have six interceptions and nine sacks.

NMU has only played two games on the road this season. The ‘Cats defeated Findlay in double overtime and lost at Ashland. Other road opponents after this weekend at Ferris are Indianapolis and Saginaw Valley State. The ‘Cats were 2-4 on the road in 2010.

100.3 FM “The Point”, the official radio station of the NMU Wildcats, broadcasts all NMU football games.


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Prepared By
Calvin Larson
Sports Information