September 19, 2012

Football Hosts No. 17 Ashland on Homecoming

Nick Krause and Matt Smith.
Nick Krause and Matt Smith.

MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University football team hosts No. 17-ranked Ashland University for its annual Homecoming game on Saturday, Sept. 22. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. from the Superior Dome in Marquette for the 21st meeting between the two teams.

It’s Homecoming week at NMU. The King and Queen Competition is Wednesday in the Great Lakes Room at 7 p.m. The parade is at 5:30 p.m. on Friday down Third Street. Saturday starts with the NMU soccer game vs. Michigan Tech at 11 a.m. at the NMU Soccer Field. NMU Game Day also starts at 11 a.m. on Third Street and features food and fun for all before the kickoff of the football game at 2 p.m. at the Superior Dome

Ashland enters Saturday’s game with a perfect 3-0 record. The Eagles are also 2-0 in the GLIAC with wins over Wayne State and at Ferris State. AU opened the season with a 37-14 non-conference victory over Indianapolis. Ashland was picked to finish first in the GLIAC South after finished 6-5 overall and 6-4 in the GLIAC in 2011.

NMU was defeated at Ohio Dominican last weekend in the first meeting between the two schools. The Panthers scored 24 points in the second quarter and went on to defeat the ‘Cats 47-7. Redshirt freshman quarterback Ryan Morley threw his first career touchdown pass in the third quarter with a nine-yard strike to junior receiver Christian Jessie. Senior defensive lineman Zach Anderson had an interception and returned it 22 yards to set up the short four-play 23-yard drive.

The Eagles came to Marquette for Homecoming in 2010. The two teams were tied before NMU scored the game-winner with under two minutes remaining for the 23-19 victory. The last time NMU played a top 25 team was Nov. 5, 2011 when Saginaw Valley State was ranked No. 24. NMU lost 48-26 at University Center, Mich.

The last time the Wildcats and Eagles met was in Ashland, Ohio on Sept. 24, 2011. Ashland ended NMU’s three-game win streak with a 45-16 victory. The ‘Cats were ranked No. 23 in the nation and led 13-0 after the first quarter before giving up 45 straight points. Carter Kopach had a rushing touchdown and Kyle Senn had a receiving touchdown for Northern. Prince Young had 85 rushing yards while Christian Marble-King and Julian Gaines each had 30 receiving yards.

Four of NMU’s eight upcoming opponents are currently ranked the AFCA Division II Coaches’ Top 25. Ashland is ranked No. 17 this week. No. 4 Grand Valley State is the only GLIAC team in the top 10. No. 20 Saginaw Valley state and No. 21 Wayne State are also in this week’s rankings. Hillsdale, who was ranked earlier this year, and Michigan Tech also received votes.

NMU is averaging 315 yards per game on 120.3 rushing and 194.7 passing. The ‘Cats are 12-for-44 on third down (27 percent) and 4-for-8 on fourth down. In the redzone, NMU is 7-for-11 with five being touchdowns.

Tickets for Saturday’s game can be purchased online at http://www.nmu.edu/tickets/ at the NMU Ticket Office or prior to the start of the game. Tickets for students 18 and under are $7 for reserved and $5 for general admission. Adult tickets are $11 for reserved seating and $9 for general admission. NMU students get in free with an id.

The game can also be heard on 100.3 FM “The Point” in the Marquette area or online at: http://wnmufm.org/nmu-sports-stream

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Prepared By
Calvin Larson
Sports Information
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