TIFFIN, Ohio — Charlie Leffingwell scored all five touchdowns in Michigan Tech’s 35-17 victory at Tiffin today. The senior running back matched a career high with 221 yards and three touchdowns on the ground to help the Huskies improve to 7-1 overall (7-1 GLIAC).
The Dragons (5-4, 4-4 GLIAC) topped Tech in total yards (413-to-391), but the big plays were made by the Huskies. A 78-yard kickoff return by John Williams, a 77-yard run by Leffingwell and a 68-yard interception return by Nick Brajak represented three of the four longest plays of the season by the Black and Gold.
Wind was also a major factor in today’s game, with all 52 points being scored into the same endzone—with the wind. Tech had the tailwind in the first and fourth quarters. Consequently, the score went from 21-0 to 21-17 to 35-17. The four-point margin lasted more than 17 minutes of the second half.
“We knew it was going to be a tough game,” said Tech coach Tom Kearly. “Any time you go on the road this far of a distance, coming off a loss and playing a good team you’ve got your hands full.
“We bent a little bit but didn’t break. Charlie ran hard and gained a lot of tough yardage, which is what we needed. Tiffin’s a good team that plays extremely hard. Things went against us for a while in the middle of the game, but we regrouped and made the plays we had to.”
Brajak’s interception came on Tiffin’s opening drive. He picked Antonio Pipkin’s pass off at the Tech 31 and was knocked out of bounds at the one. Leffingwell scored his first TD one play later on a one-yard run.
After a 16-yard Dragons punt into the wind, Tech rushed five straight times before Tyler Scarlett hit Leffingwell for a 14-yard touchdown pass.
Tiffin drove into Tech territory on its next possession, but punted. Leffingwell then broke his longest career run, a 77-yarder for a 21-0 lead.
The Dragons got on the board at the 9:44 mark of the second quarter to pull within 21-7. Williams then returned the kickoff to the TU 21. The Huskies threatened to score into the wind but Scarlett’s pass was tipped and intercepted in the endzone.
The hosts added a 36-yard field goal before the half to pull within 21-10.
Tech got the ball to start the second half but punted. Pipkin threw his second TD pass of the day six plays later to make it a four-point game just five minutes into the third quarter.
More than 17 minutes elapsed before another point was put on the board. Scarlett and Leffingwell hooked up again—this time from 12 yards out—to give the Huskies some breathing room.
Leffingwell added an insurance score with four minutes remaining as he sprinted 36 yards to paydirt.
Scarlett completed 10-of-19 passes for 129 yards and two scores. Leffingwell averaged 8.5 yards per carry on 26 attempts to match his career best from Oct. 13, 2013 (vs. Northwood).
Brajak led the Huskies with eight tackles to go with his interception. Derek Ferris added seven tackles—all solos.
Michigan Tech will come home for its final two games of the regular season. Next up is Ashland next Saturday (Nov. 8) for a 1 p.m. kickoff at Sherman Field.
(Information Courtesy of MTU Athletics)