DETROIT, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University football was defeated 38-31 at Wayne State on Saturday (Oct. 20) after mounting a three-touchdown comeback late in the game. The Warriors scored the go-ahead score with 1:16 on the clock. NMU had a chance for the equalizer but was picked off in the endzone to end the game.
NMU is now 2-6 overall and 1-6 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Eight of the last 10 matchups with the Warriors have been decided by eight points or less.
The comeback started late in the third quarter. Junior running back Casey Cotta capped off a 10-play, 57-yard drive with a 3-yard dash to the endzone with eight seconds left in the quarter.
After redshirt freshman Matt Smith intercepted a pass on the next Wayne State possession, senior quarterback Cody Scepaniak scored on an 8-yard run after a 6-play, 36-yard drive.
With 2:21 left, NMU tied the game at 31 with a one handed, 25-yard touchdown reception by Christian Jessie from Scepaniak. It was a 10-play, 81-yard drive.
The Warriors go-ahead touchdown was after a quick 4-play, 70-yard drive. Dominic Maybanks scored on a 16-yard run with 76 ticks left.
Scepaniak and the ‘Cats drove down to the WSU 28 but were intercepted by Mazen Jadou, brother of NMU defensive back Loran Jadou, with no time left.
Wayne State (5-2, 5-2 GLIAC) opened the game’s scoring with a 3-yard run by Toney Davis five minutes into the game.
NMU answered with a 36-yard field goal by senior kicker Rockne Belmonte.
Cotta gave the Wildcats a 10-7 lead with his first touchdown of the game on a 6-yard run on the first play of the second quarter.
The Warriors scored 24 straight points from second quarter to the middle of the third. Dresmond Martin had a 4-yard touchdown run, Trent Brodbeck had a 30-yard touchdown reception, Davis scored his second of the game on a 3-yard run and Stef Terleckyj made a 27-yard field goal.
The Wildcats finished with 397 yards of offense on 168 yards rushing and 229 passing. NMU was 7-for-13 on third down and 2-for-2 on fourth down. The ‘Cats were 5-for-6 in the redzone.
Scepaniak finished 18-for-30 through the air for 229 yards a touchdown and an interception in his second start. He also rushed 16 times for 60 yards and a score. Cotta finished with a 100 yards on 17 rushes and two touchdowns. He now has four touchdowns in the last two games. Freshman Sterlin Darling led the team with 118 yards on four catches.
Mickey Mohner was 16-for-22 with 177 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. Davis had a game-high 105 yards rushing on 21 carries. Steve Conway had 61 yards receiving with four grabs.
Redshirt freshman Levi Perry led the ‘Cats with 10 total tackles on six solo and four assisted tackles. He also had 1.5 tackles for loss. Freshman Chris Collins and senior Eddie Knoblock each had eight total tackles. Knoblock and Smith each had an interception. Senior Zach Anderson had five total tackles and a sack.
Northern plays its final road game of the season at Northwood next Saturday (Oct. 27).
# # # NMU # # #