Wildcats take thrashing at Ashland, 44-14

ASHLAND, Ohio – After picking up a big win at home last weekend, Northern Michigan University couldn’t stay with a nationally ranked team on the road on Saturday afternoon.

The Wildcats fell to 2-6 overall and 1-6 in the GLIAC after a 44-14 loss to No. 24 Ashland, which improved to a GLIAC South-best 7-1 both overall and in conference games.

The Eagles scored two touchdowns in the first quarter and led 44-0 before Northern got on the scoreboard twice in the fourth quarter.

Running back Terrance Dye got the first TD on a 3-yard run with 9:19 remaining that culminated an 11-play, 98-yard drive. Then with just 1:14 to go, relief QB Jaranta Lewis hooked up with Trey Hipke on a 4-yard scoring pass, that one ending a 12-play, 71-yard drive.

Wildcats starting quarterback Shaye Brown completed 15 of 32 passes for 180 yards and no interceptions through the air, while Dye had 53 yards on the ground and Marcus Tucker caught three passes for 94 yards and Hipke seven for 35 yards.

Northern was outgained 459-261 in yards, with the biggest difference on the ground where Ashland held a 196-54 advantage.

The game featured just one turnover, which was an Ashland fumble recovered by Northern’s Keshawn Walker late in the third quarter.

After Anthony Taylor gave Ashland its first score in the opening quarter on a 3-yard run, Eagles’ QB Travis Tarnowski threw five TD passes for his team’s remaining trips into the end zone. Tarnowski finished 17 of 22 for 263 yards.

Tarnowski hit running back Vance Settlemire for a 38-yard score later in the first quarter, then connected with Daniel Piko for a 24-yard TD early in the second.

Before the half ended, Tarnowski again found Piko in the end zone on a 17-yard strike while Kamaron Green got to paydirt from five yards away for a 34-0 halftime lead.

The Eagles scored their last TD early in the third quarter on a 36-yard pass to Eric Thompkins before adding a 30-yard field goal by Aidan Semenc late in the period.

The Wildcats return to the Superior Dome at 1 p.m. Saturday when they host another GLIAC South team, Walsh University, which is 2-6 overall and in the GLIAC after losing at Wayne State, 52-17, on Saturday.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Writer Ryan Stieg. His email address is rstieg@miningjournal.net.