MARQUETTE, Mich. – The first year of the Bernie Anderson Era is now history. The Northern Michigan University football team ended its season with a 47-17 loss to the top team in NCAA II, the Grand Valley State University Lakers.
NMU ends the season with a 3-7 record overall and in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC). The Lakers will look to defend its NCAA II National Championship as they enter the post-season with an overall record of 11-0 and 10-0 in the GLIAC.
The Lakers scored five touchdowns on its first six drives of the game. GVSU’s first score of the game was on a six-yard pass from Cullen Finnerty to Eric Fowler at 11:45 of the first quarter. NMU used its first possession of the game to put three points on the board on Jon Laue’s 28-yard field goal at 4:17 to make the score 7-3. Fowler and Finnerty hooked up again on a 20-yard pass at 1:11, the extra point kick was no good as the Lakers had a 13-3 lead after the first 15 minutes of play.
At 10:54 of the second quarter, Finnerty threw for his third touchdown of the day to John Mathews for 20 yards. The kick was good and GVSU was up 20-3. A scrambling Buddy Rivera found Greg Raspberry for an 84-yard touchdown at 6:51. With the good kick the ‘Cats cut the lead in half to 20-10.
GVSU would add two more touchdown passes from Finnerty to end the half. He found Terry Mitchell for a 15-yard touchdown pass at 4:58, the kick was good and the Lakers were now up 27-10. With less than two minutes left in the half (1:40), Finnerty threw his fifth touchdown pass of the day to Antione Trent from 13 yards. The kick was no good and the Lakers held a 33-10 at the half.
Finnerty’s touchdown pass in the third quarter (8:44) to Fowler from 33 yards gave the Lakers the 40-10 lead with the good extra point. For Finnerty it was his sixth touchdown pass on the day which set a new Superior Dome record for touchdown passes thrown. The old record was held by Matt Hoard as he set it against Saginaw Valley State on Nov. 16. 1996. Fowler tied the Superior Dome record for receiving touchdowns with three.
Brad Iciek playing quarterback for the Lakers found Mike Koster in the end zone for a 23-yard touchdown. GVSU was now up 47-10 with the good extra point. Kelly Reed playing in his final game as a ‘Cat threw a five-yard pass to Justin Merckx for the final score of the game. Laue’s kick was good (47-17).
The Lakers accounted for 533 yards of total offense. GVSU had 169 yards on the ground and 364 in the air. NMU had 376 yards of total offense for the day. The ‘Cats had 340 yards in the air, for a season high, and rushed for 36 on 22 carries.
Rivera ended the day with 290 yards passing on 19-35-0. Mark Bossuah led the ‘Cats on the ground with 48 yards on 11 carries. Finnerty had 296 yards passing for the game on 13-18-1.
Rivera will enter the 2007 season with 5,399 yards of total offense. The NMU career record is 6,807 yards. Rivera currently has 4,765 yards passing in his NMU career. He has 34 touchdown passes in his career as the NMU career record is 45.
Zach Nichols and Greg Raspberry both had career days. Nichols had eight receptions for 63 yards. Raspberry had six catches for 192 yards.
Nichols Bloch had 12 total tackles (seven solo and five assisted).
NMU will open the 2007 at the University of Indianapolis on Sept. 1.
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Sports Information Director