MARQUETTE – Huskies senior kicker Garrett Mead made a 39-yard field goal with no time remaining in the fourth quarter to give Michigan Tech (4-0, 4-0 GLIAC) the 34-31 win over rival Northern Michigan Saturday at the Superior Dome. It was the second game winning kick this season for Mead, who made a 25-yard field goal back on Sept. 4 to lift the Huskies to a 18-17 win at Wayne State.
“Going into those situations I honestly try to think about nothing,” said Mead after the game. “Right before (the kick) I say a quick prayer, line it up, and what happens happens. Luckily this time it worked out really well.”
Michigan Tech was able to setup the game winning kick thanks to a key third down conversion on the final drive of the game. With just over a minute to go, the Huskies converted on a third down and 10 from midfield. Quarterback Tyler Scarlett connected with Brandon Cowie for a 23-yard catch down the middle of the field. Scarlett finished the game 20 of 29 for 302 yards and a touchdown. Cowie made nine of those catches for 135 yards and a touchdown reception.
“That was a senior quarterback with a really good all-conference receiver,” said MTU head coach Tom Kearly about the key third down conversion from Scarlett to Cowie. “If you give us man to man coverage, which they were doing a lot, then we were doing go to him (Cowie). Tyler (Scarlett) has a lot of faith in him.”
Northern Michigan fell behind 21-7 late in the second quarter. The Wildcats scored with 13 seconds left before the half, when quarterback Shaye Brown connected with Austin Young for a 16-yard touchdown to make it a 21-14 in favor of MTU.
In the third quarter, the Wildcats were able to covert two MTU turnovers into nine points. On a punt by the Wildcats, Huskies return man Brett Gervais dropped the ball. Mark Walker pounced on it at the Huskies 11-yard line. On the very next play, Wildcats running back Wyatt Jurasin scampered into the endzone for the score to tie the game at 21-21. The Huskies special teams gave up a safety midway through the third quarter to make it 23-21 Northern Michigan.
After the Huskies defense forced NMU to punt, Michigan Tech regained the lead with 2:06 remaining in the third on a 31-yard touchdown run by Charlie Leffingwell to give the Huskies a 28-23 lead.
Michigan Tech made a 39-yard field goal early in the fourth to go up 31-23. With 1:47 remaining in the game, the Wildcats scored a touchdown on a 10-yard pass from Shaye Brown to Marcus Tucker. NMU converted the two-point conversion, on a nifty trick play. Tucker took the direct snap in the backfield and ran to his left. Tucker handed the ball off on a reverse to Austin Young, who then made a great pass to a wide open Shaye Brown in the endzone to tie the game.
“We have a couple of two-point plays we practice them all week,” said NMU head coach Chris Ostrowsky. “That was the one we chose to go with and luckily for us it happened.”
Ostrowsky was visibly disappointed after the game. NMU (1-3, 0-3 GLIAC) has lost the last two weeks, each time by three points.
“A heartbreaking deal for us two weeks in a row and that’s where we are right now,” said Ostrowsky.
With the win, the Huskies won the Miner’s Cup. Michigan Tech has won the Miner’s Cup nine of the last 13 years.
The Huskies have a bye next Saturday. Their next game is Oct. 11 at Northwood. Northern Michigan heads to Saginaw Valley State next Saturday for a 7 p.m. kickoff against the Cardinals.
Complete stats from the game can be found here.