FINDLAY, Ohio - Northern Michigan University redshirt freshman quarterback Ryan Morley will have to wait another week for his first collegiate touchdown while Chris Ostrowsky does the same in anticipation of his first victory as a head coach following a 45-10 GLIAC loss on the road at Findlay on Thursday night to open the 2012 season.
"We had a tough start to the season against a good football team," Ostrowsky said. "Our young players played pretty well, but we made some mistakes that you can't make against a good team."
Morley completed 53 percent of his passes in his first NCAA start, going 23 of 43 for 219 yards with an interception and fumble lost.
He hit sophomore wide receiver Julian Gaines nine times for 87 yards, but saw drives die on the Oilers' 11-, 35-, 24- and 12-yard lines with no points coming from the efforts.
"I was happy with Ryan Morley coming in and playing as well as he did in his first game," Ostrowsky said. "He showed poise all game long."
Senior running back Prince Young scored the lone Wildcat touchdown in the second quarter from nine yards out to bring NMU within three points. He finished with 93 yards on 18 carries, plus four receptions for 42 yards.
Freshman Keon Collier posted 75 yards on the ground off of nine touches, plus he had two catches for 30 yards.
Northern was able to gain 390 yards, but it paled compared to the 522 yards the Oilers racked up, with 213 coming on the ground.
Findlay senior running back Monterae Williams led the ground attack with 87 yards on 23 carries and two TDs.
His 5-yard run in the first quarter put NMU behind 7-0 while his second score of 10 yards just before halftime left NMU down 17-7.
Findlay scored three TDs in the third, including 40- and 46-yard scoring strikes from Clay Belton, who threw four interceptions against Northern last season.
This time around, Belton didn't turn it over, completing 12 of 21 for 288 yards.
Findlay had just one turnover - a fumble in the second quarter - while NMU coughed up the ball three times via a pick and fumble by Morley and another fumble lost by junior wide receiver Christian Marble-King, who finished with five catches for 32 yards.
NMU, which was 4 of 15 on third downs, made four trips into the Findlay red zone - scoring only the TD and field goal.
The 'Cats watched another drive stall on the 24 due to a missed field goal by senior kicker Rockne Belmonte. The preseason All-American had his first kick from 28 yards blocked and his second from 41 yards hit the crossbar before he hit his third from 26 yards out.
NOTES: NMU lost the time of possession battle, but only slightly, 30:38 to 29:22. ... Armani Broussard recovered the lone Findlay lost fumble. ... Senior linebacker Eddie Knoblock in his first game back since suffering a knee injury last season and junior linebacker Morgan Stenz each had eight solo tackles and 10 combined tackles to lead the NMU defense, which failed to get a single sack. ... NMU plays a final Thursday night game in Week 2 on Sept. 6 against Wisconsin-La Crosse at 7 p.m. in the Superior Dome.