HILLSDALE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University football team spotted the Hillsdale College Chargers 14 points in the first quarter, but came storming back with 24 second half points for the 31-24 win. NMU is now 2-0 overall and in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC). The Chargers fall to 1-1 overall and in the conference. This is the first time since the 1998 season that the ‘Cats have started the season at 2-0, after the first two weeks of the season.
The home team took a 14-0 lead with two touchdowns in the span of less than a minute in the first quarter. Aaron Waldie hauled in a 45-yard pass from Mark Nicolet for the first score of the game at 12:11. Hillsdale tried an on-side kick and recovered the ball to set up its second TD of the day. Brett Neller scampered in for a four-yard score at 11:22, with the extra point good the Chargers had a two touchdown lead.
The second quarter saw Buddy Rivera hook-up with Greg Raspberry for a 19-yard strike at 14:05 to cut the Hillsdale lead to 14-7. The half would end that way.
Jon Laue kicked a 33-yard field goal with about five minutes gone in the third quarter (10:07) to have the ‘Cats within four at 14-10. Fred Wells gave the ‘Cats its first lead of the game, 17-14, when he caught Rivera’s second TD pass of the day from 31 yards out, the extra points was good.
The final 15 minutes of play saw each side score twice. The Chargers took the lead back, 21-17, when Greg Dixon snuck in from one-yard out at 10:14, the extra point was good. Brad Anderson then gave the ‘Cats the lead again about four minutes later (6:26) when he scored on a one-yard run. The extra point kick was blocked as NMU was hanging on to a 23-21 lead. With 2:24 left in the game, Mark Petro, kick a 41-yard field goal to give the home team the lead once again at 24-23. NMU’s final drive of the game took 1:08 in six plays as Rivera threw for his third touchdown pass of the day to Raspberry (his second TD catch of the day) with 1:08 left in the game. The two-point conversion was good and the ‘Cats escaped with a win.
Rivera ended the day with a net four yards on the ground and 249 through the air on 15-26-0. He was sacked four times. Wells hauled in seven catches for 105 yards. Mark Bossuah led the ‘Cats on the ground with 63 yards on 13 carries. Nathan Yelk led the defense with eight total tackles (one solo and seven assisted).
NMU is off next weekend, but will be back in action on Sept. 23 at Saginaw Valley State.
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Sports Information Director