MARQUETTE — Coming into this past weekend’s game, the Northern Michigan football team has been getting some bad breaks all season. In their previous three losses, the combined margin was five points. On Saturday, they were looking to reverse that trend and get a win in the final home game of the season. But Ferris State had other plans.
The Wildcats lose 49–39 to the Bulldogs, falling to 5–5 on the season. But this game was closer than the final score looks as NMU took the lead at two different points in this game. Wildcats quarterback Shaye Brown put on a show for the home crowd, throwing for 263 yards and 4 TDs, including two to senior wideout Marcus Tucker.
But the reigning GLIAC Player of the Year Jason Vander Laan looked unstoppable on the ground, racking up 175 yards and 4 TDs, breaking the NCAA record for rushing touchdowns for a QB and the Wildcats talked afterwards about his performance and the NMU program moving forward.
“He’s a great player. If we would’ve stopped him, it would have been a game–changer. We had great defensive calls. We just couldn’t execute the plays. But we’re going to build on it so next year when we see him again, we’ll execute our plays,” defensive back Keshawn Walker said.
“Good will get your beat. We got to be great and that’s just…we got to stick to it. The season isn’t over but the younger kids will do their job and Northern’s becoming a great program,” said wide receiver Austin Young.
“We’re not an OK or average program right now. We go toe–to–toe with the very best in this league. We’re a 5–5 football team and we feel like we’re a strong 5–5 team. And these guys…I am indebted to them personally just on a personal level. They’re going to graduate from this university with degrees, every single one of them are on that track and we’re going to miss them,” head coach Chris Ostrowsky said.
NMU will close out the season this weekend with a trip to Findlay on Saturday.