Tough Superior Dome battle: Northern Michigan University Wildcats football team faces No. 8 nationally ranked Grand Valley State while trying to end 2-game losing streak

Michigan Tech’s Jordan Janssen, left, falls while trying to catch a pass by quarterback Will Ark in the end zone in the second quarter of a GLIAC game played against Northern Michigan University at the Superior Dome in Marquette on Saturday. Defending for NMU is Tavion McCarthy. (Photo courtesy Daryl T. Jarvinen)

On Saturday:

Grand Valley State at NMU, 1 p.m. at Superior Dome; Radio: WUPT 100.3 FM The Point


MARQUETTE — The Northern Michigan University football team may face its toughest challenge so far this season when it hosts No. 8 Grand Valley State at the Superior Dome at 1 p.m. Saturday.

The Wildcats are under .500 for the first time this season after suffering a 21-14 loss at home last Saturday to Michigan Tech, which followed a 18-13 loss at Davenport the Saturday before.

While NMU is 1-2 in the GLIAC and 3-4 overall, Grand Valley is 2-1 in league games but 5-1 overall. The Lakers only loss was 35-28 last Saturday to the No. 1 team in NCAA Division II, fellow GLIAC member Ferris State. The Bulldogs are up next for Northern in Big Rapids on Saturday, Oct. 30.

Northern Michigan University head football coach Kyle Nystrom yells out instructions to his team in the second quarter of their GLIAC football game played against Michigan Tech at the Superior Dome in Marquette on Saturday. (Photo courtesy Daryl T. Jarvinen)

Last weekend, the Wildcats lost the Miners Cup game to MTU for the 11th straight time with the game decided by seven points or less in the past seven meetings.

Sophomore quarterback Drake Davis led Northern with 230 passing yards and 48 rushing yards, also throwing and running for a TD. Freshman wide receiver Wyatt Davis — Drake’s brother — made five receptions for 119 yards, both team highs, and scored a TD.

Drake Davis is third in the GLIAC in passing TDs with seven and passing yards per game with 162.1. He has 1,135 passing yards and leads the league in completions with 104 on 175 attempts for a 59.4 completion percentage. He also has 310 rushing yards, a 44.3-yard-per-game average.

Wyatt Davis is 11th in the league in reception yards per game at 40.1, totaling 281 yards for the season.

Defensively, NMU’s Will Borchert made 10 tackles vs. Tech as he continues to lead the GLIAC in tackles with 68, averaging 9.7 a game, which also ranks him in the top 25 in Division II.

Senior teammate Andre Whitley has 62 tackles for an 8.9-per-game average, fifth in the league, with three QB sacks. Like Borchert, he had 10 tackles vs. the Huskies, which included a half sack.

And junior John McMullen is third in the GLIAC with five sacks after he had a sack among five tackles on Saturday.

Grand Valley’s Cade Peterson is just ahead of Davis in yards per game at 177.3, second in the GLIAC, and is easily the league leaders in TD passes with 13.

Teammate Tariq Reed is fourth in rushing yards per game at 63.2, while Peterson is fifth at 62.0, while yet another Lakers runner, Aryuan Cain-Veasey, is tied for third in rushing TDs with five.

Hunter Rison is second in the league in TD receptions with five.

The Wildcats and Lakers have met 42 times over the years with GVSU winning 15 of their last 16 meetings. NMU’s only win in that time was a 38-10 home victory in 2012. Their most recent matchup in 2019 at the Superior Dome resulted in the Lakers’ 45-17 win on Oct. 19, 2019.

Follow @NMU_Wildcats on Twitter for continued coverage throughout the week.

Fans can purchase tickets and follow the action using video, live stats and audio. Tickets are available at nmu.universitytickets.com/w/event.aspx?id=1840&r=3f434dbf3a4a46019df07631d4460dd7, while the game will be broadcast on radio station WUPT 100.3 FM The Point with audio also available online at rrnsports.com.

Video can be found online at portal.stretchinternet.com/nmu/ and live statistics at nmuwildcats.com/sidearmstats/football/summary.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal.net.


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