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Huskies Stumble at Hillsdale

Huskies Stumble at Hillsdale

HILLSDALE, Mich. – The Michigan Tech football team suffered a 51-24 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference loss at Hillsdale Saturday afternoon. The Huskies were forced to play catchup most of the game and got to within three points at 27-24 late in the third quarter before the Chargers pulled away with 24 unanswered points.

"Hillsdale simply outplayed us in all facets of the game today," Michigan Tech Head Football Coach Tom Kearly said. "We didn't play well defensively and had too many turnovers and some bad mistakes on offense. We are good enough to beat anybody we play, but we are not talented enough to just simply show up and win. Each week we have to be ready to compete. We'll look to regroup this coming week and get ready for Saginaw Valley St. next weekend."

The afternoon got off to an ominous start when Joe Reverman of Hillsdale returned the opening kickoff 72 yards to the Michigan Tech 23-yard line. The Huskies defense limited the Chargers to four yards and forced a 36-yard field goal from Steven Mette which made it a 3-0 game with 11:39 left in the first quarter.

Hillsdale (3-1, 2-1 GLIAC) increased the gap to 10-0 late in the first quarter on a quick four play drive that covered 55 yards. Quarterback Chance Stewart found Austin Sandusky on a 46-yard touchdown pass which accounted for the majority of the yardage.

Michigan Tech (2-2, 2-2 GLIAC) bounced back on the ensuing drive to put points on the board. The Huskies went 73 yards in 14 plays to setup junior kicker Josh King for a 20-yard field goal. Senior quarterback Brandon Cowie completed passes of 15, 16, and 18 yards to senior receiver David Walter while also connecting with junior receiver David Falish on a 15-yard completion.

Unfortunately, the Chargers would answer with seven more points the next time they touched the ball. A 50-yard pass from Stewart to Trey Brock put the ball at the Huskies 13-yard line and two plays later Stewart kept the ball himself for a 10-yard touchdown run, increasing the gap to 17-0 with 10:48 left until halftime.

Michigan Tech brought the deficit down to one possession again at 17-10 thanks to another long drive which culminated on a three-yard touchdown run by junior running back John Williams. Williams touched the ball eight of the 11 plays, including bursts for 13, 10, and nine yards leading to the three-yard score.

With 5:06 remaining in the second quarter, both teams traded touchdowns to close the opening half. The Chargers dialed up another long pass play from Stewart to Sandusky, this time covering 53 yards to extend the lead to 24-10.

The Huskies took over again at their own 24-yard line with 3:37 to work with on the clock. Williams reeled off 10 yards on the ground and then Cowie found junior receiver Ian Fischer for 31 yards to the Hillsdale 35-yard line. Cowie connected with Walter for 16 yards and then Fischer again for 13 yards to setup a six-yard touchdown run by Williams with 1:32 to go in the half. The extra point attempt by King was good to make it a 24-17 score.

Hillsdale nearly added more points in the final moments of the half, but junior defensive back Derek Cingel intercepted a Stewart pass in the end zone to halt the drive as time expired.

Michigan Tech got the ball first to start the third quarter, but an interception by Hillsdale's Matt Hall set the Chargers up in good field position at their own 43-yard line. Hillsdale would move the ball to the Huskies six, but stalled there and were forced to kick a 27-yard field goal.

Trailing 27-17, the Huskies put themselves right back in the game with an eight play 68 yard scoring drive. The big play was a fake punt on fourth down that saw senior punter Ryan VanGoethem scamper 21 yards to move the chains. On a first and 10 play at the Hillsdale 26-yard line, Alex Sherbinow reeled in a touchdown pass from Cowie, trimming the deficit to 27-24 with 5:06 left in the third quarter.

However, as was the case most of the day on Saturday, the Chargers had an answer. On the ensuing possession, Hillsdale marched 65 yards on nine plays with Reverman capping the drive on a 10-yard touchdown run. It was the first seven points in what would be the string of 24 unanswered to close the afternoon. Stewart then completed touchdown passes to Ryan Potrykus and Brock followed by a 25-yard field goal from Mette in the fourth quarter which resulted in the final point totals.

Cowie finished the afternoon completing 27 of 41 passes for 308 yards and one touchdown for the Huskies. Walter and Fischer both racked up 124 receiving yards on 10 and nine catches respectively while Williams had a season high 96 yards rushing on 19 carries with two touchdowns and a 5.1 yards per carry average. As a team, Tech had 425 yards of total offense with 308 coming through the air and 117 on the ground.

Defensively, senior defensive back Nick Brajak had a team high 10 tackles with nine being solo and one behind the line of scrimmage. Senior linebacker Ben Tauchen had seven tackles and Cingel finished with three tackles and the lone takeaway on the interception to end the first half.

Hillsdale was powered by Stewart who completed 19 of 31 passes for 355 yards and three touchdowns. He also carried the ball four times for 24 yards and found the end zone twice on the ground. Reverman led all players with 133 yards on 22 carries and added one touchdown run. Brock caught nine passes for 160 yards and one touchdown followed by Sandusky with two catches for 99 yards and one TD. Hillsdale had 546 yards of total offense in Saturday's game.

Wyatt Batdorff had 13 tackles and an interception to guide the Chargers defense while Scotty Penola made nine stops and picked off one pass in the contest. The Hillsdale defense forced four Tech turnovers with three interceptions and one fumble recovery.

The Huskies will look to bounce back next Saturday when they return home to Sherman Field to face Saginaw Valley Stat. in the annual Homecoming Game. The kickoff is slated for 1 p.m.