Press Box


MARQUETTE, Mich.â€Ã‚“ When the Huskies from Michigan Tech and the Wildcats from NorthernMichigan get together for anything, emotions run high for this U.P. rivalry asthe teams played their version of the U.P. Super Bowl on Saturday night in theSuperior Dome in front of the largest crowd of the season as 7,012 people saw afootball game that had a little bit of everything. 


The â€Ã‚˜Cats scored 21 points in the second half and shutdownthe Huskies in the second 30 minutes to win the game 35-24 and the Minerâ€Ã‚™s Cupthat goes to the winner.  With the winthe â€Ã‚˜Cats snapped their four-game losing skid and a two-game skid against theHuskies.  NMU improves to 3-6 overall onthe season and 3-5 in the GLIAC.  Techfalls to 4-5 both overall and in the conference.


The Athletic Directorâ€Ã‚™s from both schools got into thespirit with a bet that the losing A.D. has to wear a sandwich board on thewinnerâ€Ã‚™s campus proclaiming his team lost in football.  MTUâ€Ã‚™s Rick Yeo will be wearing the sandwichboard in Marquette in the nearfuture.


The Huskies jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead before PatRouzard caught an 11-yard TD strike from Kyle Swenor to even the game with lessthan a minute left in the first quarter. Tech would score two touchdowns in the second quarter, before Rouzardcaught his second TD pass of the night, from two yards out, from Swenor at 3:12 of the quarter.  The TD capped off a drive that was 13 playsand 75 yards.  The Huskies added a fieldgoal with less that two minutes left in the half to take the 24-14 lead intothe locker room at the half.


The first half saw a couple of tricks that Coach Sams pulledout of his sleeve.  The first one was anattempted punt by back-up QB Kelly Reed that was blocked.  Abram McCoy attempted a halfback pass thatwas intercepted.


After the first 30 minutes of play the â€Ã‚˜Cats had 21 firstdowns, 287 yards of total offense (221 passing and 66 rushing) and had the ballfor a little over 19 minutes.  NMU ran 53offensive plays to the Huskies 27.


The second 30 minutes was a different story.  Vinney Mayfield caught a 42-yard TD pass fromSwenor at 3:15 of the third quarterto narrow the gap to 24-21, still in favor of the Huskies.  Mayfield then caught a 13-yard TD strike fromSwenor at 11:07 of the fourth quarterto give the â€Ã‚˜Cats their first lead of the game, with the good PAT by KyleMarotz, at 28-24.  Linebacker BrandonGenwright put the game on ice, with less than seven minutes left in the game, whenhe returned a fumble recovery 22 yards to pay dirt and the final score of thegame. Ã‚ ÃƒÃ‚‚   Ã‚ 


For the game the â€Ã‚˜Cats had 34 first downs, 536 yards oftotal offense (392 passing and 144 rushing) and held onto the ball for almost34 minutes of the game.  The â€Ã‚˜Cats ran 20more offensive plays than the Huskies on the night.  For the game the â€Ã‚˜Cats ran 90 offensive playsto the Huskies 70.


Swenor ended the evening with 392 yards passing on 47-35-0with four touchdowns.  The 35 completionsset a new Superior Dome record.  Mayfieldcaught a Superior Dome record 15 catches for 205 yards and two TDs.  McCoy had better luck on the ground than hedid with his lone pass attempt.  He had agame-high 31 rushes for 104 yards.


The â€Ã‚˜Cats conclude the 2003 season with two more games.  First up is next week when the squad willtravel to University Centerto take on Saginaw Valley.  The final game of the season will be at homeon November 15 against Northwood.