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Football

NCAA Tournament 2004, 2014 GLIAC Champions 2004, 2012

Huskies Fall 24-17 at Tiffin

Huskies Fall 24-17 at Tiffin

TIFFIN, Ohio – The Michigan Tech football team came up empty in a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference showdown at Tiffin University on Saturday afternoon. The Huskies held a 17-0 lead until early in the fourth quarter when the Dragons scored 24 unanswered points in the final nine minutes to come out on top 24-17.

"I thought we played very well defensively all day and to hold them to 17 points and scoreless through the third quarter was a good effort by our defensive unit," Michigan Tech Head Coach Tom Kearly said. "We self-destructed in the fourth quarter in two or three different ways. In this league you have to play 60 minutes and we played 45 pretty good, but couldn't finish it off. When you are up two touchdowns with eight minutes to go and you have the football you have to find a way to finish the game. When you lose close football games you look at a few things and fix them and that's what we will try to do this coming week."

Both offenses started slow on Saturday with each team possessing the ball for three plays before being forced to punt it away. Michigan Tech senior punter Ryan VanGoethem, who had a game changing punt against Ohio Dominican in week two by pinning the ball inside the one-yard line, helped set up the first seven Tech points on Saturday in similar fashion. VanGoethem boomed the ball 72 yards and senior wide receiver David Walter raced down the field to down the ball at the Tiffin one-yard line with 10:52 left in the first quarter.

Tiffin (5-2, 4-2 GLIAC), worked the ball out to their 37-yard line before being forced to punt on fourth and 22 from the 25. Freshman Glacier Wallington charged into the backfield and blocked the punt attempt by Owen Courtwright, setting the Michigan Tech (2-4, 2-4 GLIAC) offense up at the Dragons 13-yard line. It didn't take for the Huskies long to punch it into the end zone. A three-yard run by senior running back Kevin Miller put the ball at the 10 where senior quarterback Brandon Cowie found Walter on a pass over the middle for a 10-yard touchdown. The extra point by junior Josh King was good to make it a 7-0 score with 3:51 remaining in the first quarter.

On the ensuing Tiffin possession, The Huskies' defense proceeded to stop the Dragons on three plays to force another punt. Tech took over on the Tiffin 47-yard line with just under three minutes to go in the first quarter and produced a 27-yard field goal from King to make it a 10-0 game with 13:22 to play until the break. A 14-yard run by Cowie and a nine-yard pass to junior wide receiver Ian Fischer set up the three pointer.

Each team had some chances to put additional points on the board before the break. Courtright missed a 33-yard field goal wide right with 7:32 left in the second quarter. The Huskies then drove the ball down to the Tiffin eight-yard line, but Carrington Contee intercepted a Cowie pass in the back of the end zone to prevent Tech from widening the gap. Tiffin's final drive of the opening 30 minutes resulted in another punt as both teams headed to the locker run with the Huskies leading 10-0.

The Tech defense kept the Tiffin offense on its heels throughout the third quarter and enabled the Huskies offense to increase their advantage to three scores. When Courtright went to a knee to field a low snap on a punt, Tech took over in great field position at the Dragons 26-yard line. One play later, Tech was back in the end zone thanks to a 26-yard touchdown pass from Walter to Cowie. King's extra point made it a 17-0 game.

The score remained unchanged until Courtwright connected on his first field goal of the afternoon to trim the Huskies lead to 17-3 with 8:45 left in the fourth quarter. The Huskies were forced to punt on the next drive and three plays later Tiffin was in the end zone for the first time on the day. Quarterback Antonio Pipkin threw a 16-yard pass to Jordan Nobles for a touchdown and with the extra point the Dragons were within seven at 17-10.

With 3:35 left in the game, a bad snap on a Tech punt gave Tiffin the ball again deep inside Huskies' territory at the 33-yard line. The ball advanced to the 18-yard line on a pass interference penalty and then Pipkin took off on the ground for another touchdown to tie the game at 17-17 with 3:25 remaining. The game winning score was then added by the Dragons when Stefan Willis returned an interception 62-yards the other way for a touchdown to make it 24-17 at the 1:43 mark of the fourth quarter.

The Huskies had one final chance to pull even late, marching the ball from their own 35-yard line down to the Tiffin 15. Unfortunately, Contee recorded his second pick of the day in the back of the end zone with 20 seconds left, sealing the win for Tiffin.

Miller led the ground attack for Tech, covering 58 yards on 12 carries while averaging 4.8 yards per rush. Cowie was 13 for 23 for 139 yards and a touchdown through the air. Walter also attempted one pass which was caught by Cowie for a 26-yard score. Fischer had a game high five catches for 70 yards to pace the Huskies receiving corp. As a team, Tech produced 245 yards of total offense with 165 coming through the air and 80 on the ground.

The Huskies defense, which was flying to the football all game long, was guided by freshman linebacker Marvin Wright who ended the afternoon with 13 tackles, including 10 of the solo variety. Junior defensive back Cory Williams had seven tackles along with junior defensive lineman Hilding Beaudoin and senior defensive lineman Evan Mayer. Beaudoin had two tackles for a loss and Mayer recorded 1.5 sacks. The entire defensive front applied pressure to Pipkin all afternoon and in the process recorded four sacks. Wright had a half sack while senior defensive back Nick Brajak and sophomore defensive end Garrett Ross tallied one sack apiece.

On special teams, VanGoethem averaged 47.6 yards per punt and dropped two of them inside the Tiffin 20-yard line. King made his only field goal attempt and was perfect on extra points.

Pipkin carried the Tiffin offense with 88 yards and a TD rushing while completing 16 passes for 156 yards and additional touchdown. Nobles caught three of the passes for 62 yards and a score while Charles Holland hauled in five passes for 44 yards. The Dragons had 306 yards of total offense with rushing and passing yards nearly even. Tiffin had 156 yards through the air and 150 via the run.

DJ Steward led the defense with nine stops, Contee had two interceptions and Willis reeled in the third interception for a touchdown.

Michigan Tech will look to bounce back next Saturday when the team heads to Northwood for another GLIAC contest. The kickoff is slated for 1 p.m.