MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University football team picked up its third win in the last four games with a 33-28 win over Saginaw Valley State on Saturday (Nov. 3) afternoon from the Superior Dome.
"We deserved victory today," NMU head coach Chris Ostrowsky said. "It was an awesome win for us on so many different levels. That makes us pretty happy."
The Wildcats recovered three fumbles by SVSU punt returners and turned them into 13 points on two field goals and a touchdown. NMU is now 4-6 overall and 3-6 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The Cardinals are now 7-3 overall and 6-3 in the GLIAC.
Senior kicker Rockne Belmonte made four field goals from 36, 46, 49 and 55 yards and broke NMU’s record with the 42nd of his career.
NMU trailed 28-16 entering the fourth quarter. Senior quarterback Cody Scepaniak scored on a nine-yard run early in the frame (13:49) to bring the ‘Cats to within five.
On the ensuing kickoff, Belmonte kicked an onside that was recovered by freshman Austin Young. The ‘Cats gained a few yards and Belmonte made a 46-yard field goal to cut the lead down to two with 11:00 to go.
The two teams traded punts but SVSU fumbled on its punt return and junior Phillipe Micheau recovered on the Cardinals 29-yard line. Scepaniak rushed it for 27 yards to the two yard line and fumbled it into the endzone. Senior offensive lineman Jace Daniels recovered for the touchdown and the NMU lead.
SVSU threatened twice deep in NMU territory. Junior defensive back Brandon Parson ended the next drive with an interception in the endzone and the Cardinals couldn’t convert on a fourth and nine from the NMU 29 to end the game.
The Cardinals got on the board first with a 57-yard touchdown from Jonathon Jennings to Jeff Janis with 3:15 left on the first quarter clock.
Junior receiver Christian Jessie scored his sixth receiving touchdown of the year with 46 seconds left in the first on a 41-yard pass from Scepaniak to tie up the game.
Belmonte made his first of the afternoon with a 41-yard field goal five minutes into the second quarter for the 10-7 lead.
Janis scored his second touchdown of the afternoon with a 39-yard reception from Jennings. Jennings added a nine-yard touchdown run with 2:20 left in the half for the 21-10 SVSU lead.
Belmonte made a 55-yard field goal as time expired at the half and opened the third quarter with a 49-yarder three minutes in.
Tim Hogue had a 48-yard touchdown run for the Cardinals final score to make it 28-16.
The ‘Cats finished with 341 yards of total offense on 229 rushing and 112 passing yards. Scepaniak was 11-for-23 through the air for 112 yards a touchdown and two interceptions. He also rushed 20 times for 98 yards and a score. Junior running back Casey Cotta had a team-high 109 yards on the ground on 17 carries. Jessie finished the game with 75 yards on five catches. Sophomore Kelvin Smarwt had three catches for 15 yards.
Sophomore Nick Krause led the defense with 11 total tackles on five solo and six assisted tackles. Redshirt freshman Loran Jaddou also had double digit tackles with three solo and seven assisted tackles. Senior Zach Anderson added nine tackles. Junior Morgan Stenz, Micheau and senior Joe Vezina all had fumble recoveries on special teams.
Northern wraps up the 2012 season next weekend as Ferris State comes to the Superior Dome. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. on Senior Day. There will be a Senior Luncheon at the University Center on Friday at noon. The 12 seniors will be honored next weekend as Zach Anderson, Rockne Belmonte, James Brito-White, Sam Celentino, Jace Daniels, Josh Droese, Eddie Knoblock, Weston McIntosh, Brent Parrett, Chad Pepper, Joe Vezina and Prince Young play their final game in the Green and Gold.
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