CANTON, Ohio — Michigan Tech put up 35 unanswered points in the first half and never looked back in a 37-6 victory at Malone today in GLIAC football. Tyler Scarlett threw four touchdown passes, the Huskies rushed for 264 yards and the defense held the Pioneers to 211 total yards as Tech improved to 2-0 on the season.
Turnovers were a big factor in Tech getting off to a big start. Malone fumbled the opening possession at their own 44. Eight plays later, fullback Kyle Michaelson notched his first career touchdown from one yard out.
Brett Gervais intercepted a pass at the Pioneers 20 just one minute later. Scarlett hit Charlie Leffingwell on a flare pass for a seven-yard touchdown for a 14-0 lead nine minutes into the game.
A three-and-out by Malone on its third drive gave the Black and Gold the ball at their own 33. Scarlett and the offense then ground 9:25 off the clock on an 18-play drive that culminated in a six-yard pass to Anthony Root.
Scarlett tossed his third TD of the day on a nine-yard fade to Brandon Cowie for a 28-0 lead with 5:07 left in the half.
Malone turned the ball over on downs with three minutes remaining before halftime. Scarlett guided the Huskies into the endzone once more, hitting Leffingwell again from 10 yards out for a 35-0 lead at the intermission.
Tech was on the doorstep for a sixth consecutive possession with a touchdown to start the second half, but John Williams fumbled at the Malone four-yard line. The Pioneers recovered, but Gervais made a tackle in the endzone on the next play for a safety and a 37-0 lead.
Another fumble by Williams in the red zone and a blocked field goal attempt from Matt Bautch represented two more missed chances to add to the lead. Thanks to two more takeaways by the Huskies' defense (interceptions by Nick Brajak and Jeremy Mims), the game was never in doubt.
Malone scored its only touchdown on an 11-play drive in the fourth quarter (the conversion attempt was intercepted by Gervais).
Michigan Tech used many of its reserves in the second half. Backup quarterback Isaiah Hackney replaced Scarlett midway through the third quarter. Williams played each of the final seven series, finishing with 32 carries for 154 yards.
Final yardage totals showed 439 for the Huskies and 211 for the Pioneers, but the hosts gained just 91 yards before the fourth quarter. Tech's defense limited MU to only one pass completion in the first 45 minutes of the game.
Scarlett was 16-for-20 for 175 yards and four touchdowns before Hackney took over. Leffingwell started and carried the ball nine times for 53 yards.
Tanner Agen led the Huskies' defense with seven tackles and a forced fumble.
"We talked this morning to our team about going out strong and not getting into a close game," said coach Tom Kearly. "I thought they really responded. That's about as good a half of football as we've played.
"You want your backups to come in and play just as well as the starters. They didn't, but we were able to get a lot of guys playing time, and that's how they're going to get better."
Michigan Tech, after traveling 2,600 miles in its opening two weeks of the season, will finally get to play a home game next Saturday (Sept. 20). Kickoff for the Huskies' Homecoming contest is set for 1 p.m. at Sherman Field.
Notes: Tech's safety was the first it had scored since Oct. 10, 2009, vs. Findlay … Garrett Mead became the Huskies' all-time leader for kick scoring points during the game with his five extra points. He now has 181 career points … Scarlett added to his school record mark for touchdowns. He now has 67 (with just 22 career interceptions).