Tech football prepares for final game of season

Courtesy of MTU Athletics

Michigan Tech’s Tyler Scarlett <> earned GLIAC Football Offensive Player of the Week honors for his performance in Tech’s 42-14 victory over Hillsdale last Saturday (Nov. 3). Scarlett completed 18-of-24 passes for 247 yards and four touchdowns in the game to help the Huskies move to 6-3 on the season. The sophomore quarterback also had 47 rushing yards on six carries for 294 yards of total offense. Scarlett guided Tech on four touchdown drives in the opening half and was crucial in the Huskies’ picking up 9-of-14 third downs in the contest. During the game, Scarlett broke his own school record for passing yards in a season (2,427) and added to the school record for passing touchdowns in a season (25).

DeShawn Nelson <> recorded a team-high seven tackles and two interceptions in Tech’s 42-14 victory over Hillsdale last Saturday (Nov. 3). The sophomore cornerback intercepted a pass in the endzone to quell a Chargers’ scoring threat in the third quarter. He then jumped an out route in the fourth quarter at his own 19 and returned it 81 yards for a touchdown. Nelson had a school-record 103 yards in interception return yards in the game. He now has five interceptions for a school-record 123 return yards on the season. Five of his seven tackles were solos.

Tight end Bryan LaChapelle <> was critical in the Huskies’ hot start vs. Hillsdale last week. The senior hauled in four passes for 58 yards and three touchdowns in the first 22 minutes to help the Black and Gold build a 21-7 advantage. He had scoring catches of nine, 19 and five yards by the midway point of the second quarter. LaChapelle finished with 74 yards on five receptions in the game. For the season, he has 47 catches for 600 yards and six scores.

Heading into the final week of the season, Michigan Tech sits in second place in the GLIAC North Division. The Huskies are in a three-way tie at 6-3, one game behind Grand Valley State at 7-2. With a Huskies win at Wayne State and a Grand Valley State loss (at Saginaw Valley State), Michigan Tech would clinch a share of just its second GLIAC title in school history (2004 was the other).

Defensive end Nelson Wienke <> tallied two sacks in last week’s 42-14 victory over Hillsdale to run his season total to 7.5. The sophomore currently ranks second in the GLIAC and 26th nationally with .83 sacks per game. Six of Wienke’s sacks have come in the last four weeks of the season.

Eighteen Michigan Tech seniors will play their final games in a Michigan Tech uniform this Saturday at Wayne State. The group includes 10 offensive players and seven defensive players. The Huskies’ seniors have accounted for a 23-17 record over the last four years.

Senior wide receiver Pat Carroll <> caught four passes for 106 yards and a touchdown vs. Hillsdale last Saturday for his second career 100-yard game. The first came two seasons ago vs. Indianapolis. Carroll ranks fourth on the team in both receptions (23) and yards (342) this season.

Senior tailback Akeem Cason <> broke free on a 62-yard run from scrimmage on Tech’s second offensive play of the game last week. The run was the longest by a Tech player this season. Cason has five plays over 25 yards this year. The four others are all on kick returns. Cason ranks second in the GLIAC and 21st nationally in kickoff return average (27.0).

Fullback Cole Welch <> has been the go-to player to carry the ball in short-yardage situations for the last two years. He has carried the ball 21 times this season for 45 yards. Of those 21 carries, 17 have resulted in either a first down or touchdown (81 percent). One of his four non-conversion runs was a five-yard pickup on second-and-10 at Saginaw Valley. Welch scored on a one-yard run last week for his fifth TD of the year.

Wayne State owns a 17-6 lead in the all-time series with Michigan Tech which began in 1980. The Warriors defeated the Huskies 27-10 in Detroit last year on their way to a national runner-up finish. Tech has won two of the last three in the series and has five of its six wins against Wayne State in the last nine meetings.

Michigan Tech head coach Tom Kearly is in his seventh season as head coach and 13th overall with the Huskies program. The skipper owns a 43-29 record (.597 winning percentage) and has coached Tech to two of the eight eight-win seasons in school history. Kearly, a Hancock native and 1979 Winona State graduate, coached at Central Michigan for 19 seasons before returning to the Copper Country in 2000. He was the GLIAC Coach of the Year in 2010.

Michigan Tech has an all-time football record of 346-334-17 (.509 winning percentage) in 90 seasons of intercollegiate football. The Huskies are 63-38 over the last 10 seasons (.624 winning percentage).

Michigan Tech’s team captains for the 2012 season are senior linebacker Justin Armstrong <>, senior defensive tackle Jake Clark, senior tight end Bryan LaChapelle and senior offensive lineman Chris Mullen <>.

Michigan Tech has five non-offensive touchdowns this season with a punt return TD, a fumble return TD, a kickoff return TD, a punt block return TD and an interception return TD. The Huskies had just two non-offensive scores all of last season … Tech has scored the first points of the game eight times in nine contests this season and are 6-2 in those games.

Superior National Bank sponsors the Superior Player of the Game. Following each football game, a player is chosen. A list of the 2012 Superior Players of the Game is below.
Sept. 8 vs. Tiffin Dan Perrault <> (9 tackles, 2.0 sacks, 1 forced fumble)
Sept. 15 vs. Walsh    Bryan LaChapelle (7 rec., 63 yds, 1 TD) &
Emmett Bjorn <> (six tackles, 1 interception)
Sept. 22 vs. Findlay    Emmett Bjorn (10 tackles, 2 pass breakups)
Sept. 29 vs. GVSU Matt Curtin <> (11 receptions, 190 yards, 4 TDs)
Oct. 6 at NMU    Matt Curtin (7 receptions, 171 yards, 3 TDs)
Oct. 13 vs. N’wood    Tyler Scarlett (18-of-32 passing, 267 yards, 2 TDs)
Oct. 20 at Ferris    Matt Curtin (10 receptions, 178 yards, 3 TDs)
Oct. 27 at SVSU    Bryan LaChapelle (10 rec., 86 yds)
Nov. 3 vs. Hillsdale    DeShawn Nelson (7 tack., 2 INT, 103 INT Ret Yds, 1 TD)