MIDLAND, Mich. — The No. 22-ranked Michigan Tech football team improved to 5-0 on the season with a 21-6 victory at Northwood today at Hantz Stadium. Charlie Leffingwell, who was playing in his hometown, rushed for 145 yards and a touchdown, and the Huskies defense kept the host Timberwolves out of the endzone all day for the victory.
Even though offensive yardage totals were similar (323 for Tech compared to 272 for Northwood), the Huskies dominated on third down. The Black and Gold converted 11-of-15 while holding NU to 1-of-11. That also led to a lopsided time of possession, showing a 38:20-to-21:40 margin in favor of Tech.
"The defense played very well all game," said coach Tom Kearly. "We gave up a couple big plays over our heads, but when you don't let the other team in the endzone, you can't complain.
"Third downs were key. That stat probably tells the story of the whole ballgame."
Tech built a 14-0 lead on a one-yard Zack Skeels rush in the first quarter and a one-yard Brandon Cowie reception from Tyler Scarlett in the second.
Northwood had second-and-goal from the four-yard line at the end of the first half, but settled for a 23-yard field goal for a 14-3 deficit at the break.
The Huskies were forced to punt on their opening drive of the second half, but a DeShawn Nelson interception three plays later set up the Black and Gold at midfield.
Ten plays and 50 yards later, the Huskies held a 21-7 lead. Leffingwell finished off the drive with a two-yard rush.
The Timberwolves again drove to the Tech four, but again were held to a field goal—this one from 24 yards to pull within 21-6.
After Scarlett threw his second interception of the game, NU had the ball in the red zone again. Tech got the stop on fourth-and-one.
Later in the fourth quarter, Nelson hauled in his second interception of the contest to all but put it away. Michigan Tech picked up two first downs to kill the remaining clock.
Scarlett finished 17-of-25 for 149 yards. Cowie was his favorite target with seven receptions for 61 yards.
Leffingwell recorded his second 100-yard rushing game of the season with 145 on 33 carries.
Defensive tackle Tanner Agen led the Tech defense with eight tackles. He and the Huskies held the Northwood triple-option attack to just 118 yards rushing, well below their season average of 172.
Michigan Tech, which has played four of its first five games on the road, will now play four of its final five at home. The Huskies host Grand Valley State next Saturday (Oct. 18) at 1 p.m. at Sherman Field.