MARQUETTE, Mich. – Entering Saturday’s game against Gannon University the Wildcats were not known for scoring a ton of points in the first quarter. Matter of fact the Northern Michigan University football team had only scored 24 total points in the first quarter all season. That all changed on Saturday in the Superior Dome as NMU scored 21 points in the first quarter en route to a 48-21 win over the visiting Golden Knights.
The win snaps the ‘Cats six-game skid. NMU is now 3-6 overall and in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC). GU falls to 1-9 and 1-8 respectively.
Mark Bossuah and Fred Wells both had big days for the ‘Cats. Each was involved on three touchdowns. Both tied Superior Dome records for rushing and receiving touchdowns respectively. NMU scored its first three drives of the game.
Wells caught a 24-yard pass from Buddy Rivera to end the ‘Cats first drive of the game. The score at 10:43 of the first quarter gave NMU a 7-0 lead. Brad Anderson scored from one-yard out at 5:53 with the good extra point NMU was up 14-0. Bossuah added his first touchdown of the day on an 11-yard run with three seconds left in the quarter for the 21-0 lead.
GU made the score 21-7 with a four-yard run by Ashuwa Richardson at 8:48 of the second quarter. Wells then caught his second touchdown pass of the day from Rivera for a 43-yard touchdown with 13 seconds left before the half and the ‘Cats went into the locker room with a 28-7 lead.
The third quarter began the same way as the second quarter ended when Wells and Rivera hooked-up again for his third touchdown of the day a 21-yard pass at 11:02; the extra point kick was blocked. NMU held a 34-7 advantage. About seven and a half minutes later, Bossuah scored from two yards out at 4:36 to give NMU the 41-7 lead. On the ensuing kickoff, Ronald Keels returned it for an 88-yard return for a touchdown. GU now trailed by a 41-14 count.
At 10:46 of the fourth quarter, Bossuah scored his third touchdown of the day on a three-yard run. The extra point was good and the ‘Cats had a 48-14 lead. The Golden Knights added a final score with 20 seconds left in the game when Keels caught a 43-yard pass from Chris Hoderny.
The ‘Cats had season-highs in rushing (172 yards), passing (305 yards) and total offense (477 yards). It was the first time since the Saginaw Valley State game that the ‘Cats rushed for over 100 yards in a game. Rivera accounted for 304 yards of total offense. He had 14 yards rushing on four carries and was 15-24-0 for 290 yards in the air. For his career, Rivera now has 5,117 yards of total offense. The NMU career record for total offense is held by Tom Bertoldi (1980-83) with 6,807 yards.
Bossuah ended the game with a game-high 118 yards on 21 carries, which is also a career high. Wells leads the ‘Cats with 41 receptions for 841 yards had five catches for 158 yards (career high) on Saturday. Nicholas Bloch recorded the ‘Cats sixth interception of the season.
Zach Gauthier led the ‘Cats with six total tackles on the day (three solo and three assisted). Travis Homes (three solo and two assisted) and Pete Tuccini (three solo and two assisted) each had five total tackles on the day.
NMU will play its season finale against the top ranked team in NCAA II, the Grand Valley State Lakers, on Nov. 11 at 1 p.m. in the Superior Dome, which is Veterans Day. To honor all area veterans and members of the Armed Services they will be admitted to the game for free. A color guard representing the Armed Services branches is planned for pre-game ceremonies. All veterans should be a military card holder and bring it or appropriate identification to the game.
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Sports Information Director