MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan football team hosts Michigan Tech for the final game of the 2011 season. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. from the Superior Dome for the rights to the Miner’s Cup.
NMU is 4-6 overall and 3-6 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. MTU is 6-4 overall and 5-4 in the conference.
The Miner’s Cup started in 2002. The trophy itself is an antique miner's helmet that is mounted on a wooden base. The helmet was found at an antique store in the Houghton area.
23 seniors will play their final games in a Wildcat uniform and will be introduced at the start of the game.
The NMU and MTU Army ROTC’s will partner to run the game ball from the Student Development Complex in Houghton to the Superior Dome. The NMU Wildcat Battalion will pick up the ball in Baraga at 6 a.m. on Saturday and the NMU ROTC cadets will run it 50 miles to the game.
NMU and MTU have met 84 times dating back to 1920. The ‘Cats lead the all-time series 41-38-5. The Huskies lead the series 3-2 in the last five meetings and 7-3 in the last 10. NMU won 17 games in a row from 1956-2000.
Northern was shutout in the Miner’s Cup last season, 12-0. The teams played on the final day of the regular season on a snowy Saturday at Sherman Field. The ‘Cats generated only 132 yards of total offense with 103 of it from running back John Privitelli.
This season, the offense is averaging 358.3 yards per game (161.3 rushing and 197.0 passing). It is 37 percent on third down conversion and 89 percent in the redzone scoring and 67 percent in the redzone scoring touchdowns.
Junior running back Prince Young is averaging 87.9 yards per game and 4.8 yards per carry. He has four 100-yard rushing games and three touchdowns.
Junior lineman Zach Anderson leads the defense with 59 total tackles on 26 solo and 33 assisted tackles. He also leads the team with four sacks. Junior linebacker Josh Droese has 51 total tackles. Senior lineman Matt Forward has 53 tackles, nine and a half tackles-for-loss and two sacks. The ‘Cats have 13 interceptions and 12 sacks.
Junior kicker Rockne Belmonte tied the NMU season record for field goals in a season last week when he made four field goals at Saginaw Valley State. Belmonte now has 14 made field goals on the season. He has 30 for his career and is 30-for-42 (71 percent) with a long of 51.
100.3 FM “The Point”, the official radio station of the NMU Wildcats, broadcasts all NMU football games.
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