HOUGHTON, Mich. – The Miner's Cup will remain in Houghton after Michigan Tech defeated Northern Michigan 31-7 in GLIAC football action this afternoon at Sherman Field. The Huskies (3-2 overall, 3-2 GLIAC) scored the first 24 points of the game to top the Wildcats (2-4 overall, 1-4 GLIAC) and claim the trophy for the ninth time in its 12-year history.
"From the opening kickoff to the very end, I thought we played hard," said head coach Tom Kearly. "It was a good effort. There's no question we did not play very well the last couple of weeks. Hopefully this was a turning ballgame for us."
The Huskies got on the scoreboard first with 3:16 remaining in the opening quarter when fullback Cole Welch punched the ball in from one yard out to culminate the team's longest scoring drive of the season. The 14-play, 96-yard drive took 6:15 off the clock and included quarterback Tyler Scarlett hitting wide receiver Brandon Cowie three times for a total of 43 yards.
Michigan Tech extended its advantage to 10-0 with 8:14 left in the second quarter on a 23-yard field goal by junior kicker Garrett Mead.
Tech would add one more touchdown before the half after taking possession of the ball at midfield with 3:12 remaining following a Wildcat punt. Scarlett hit Cowie for a 36-yard gain on the first play of the drive, and Charlie Leffingwell made it 17-0 five plays later on a two-yard run.
Welch added his second touchdown of the game – and fourth of the season – 6:03 into the third quarter on a one-yard run. Mead's extra point extended the advantage to 24-0.
Northern Michigan cut the deficit to 17 points on a 16-yard scamper from tailback Keon Collier with 5:34 left in the third quarter.
Minutes later, on the final play of the third quarter, the Wildcats elected to go for it on 4th-and-1 from their own 28-yard line. They again put the ball into the hands of Collier, who turned it over on a fumble. One play later, and just seven seconds into the final quarter, Scarlett hit tight end Ian Wienke for a 13-yard touchdown to account for the 31-7 final score.
Scarlett finished the game 18-of-31 for 254 yards and one touchdown, while Cowie caught six passes for a team-high 113 yards. Jordan McConnell also hauled in six passes for 76 yards. Leffingwell paced the ground game with 73 yards on 25 attempts.
The Huskies will return to action next Saturday (Oct. 19) when they travel to Midland, Mich., to face Northwood at noon.