The Northern Michigan University football team fell 52-27 to Ashland University in its first road game of the season on Saturday (Sept. 28). The Wildcats scored the game's first 10 points before the Eagles scored the next 38 and gained control of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference game at Jack Miller Stadium.
With the loss, NMU falls to 1-2 overall and 1-2 in the GLIAC. Ashland picked up its first victory of the season and is now 1-3 overall and 1-2 in conference play..
Northern had 375 yards of offense but surrendered 507.
The 'Cats opened the game's scoring with 3:29 left on the first quarter clock on a 1-yard run from sophomore running back Keon Collier. A 57-yard hookup between senior quarterback Cody Scepaniak and freshman wide receiver Keyondre Craig setup the score.
The NMU defense forced a fumble on the next Ashland possession to setup freshman kicker John Oberheide's first career field goal, a 25-yarder, nine seconds into the second quarter.
The Eagles started rolling from there, scoring four touchdowns and adding a field goal before halftime.
After a touchback on the kickoff, Anthony Taylor took a handoff 75 yards for a touchdown. Tra'Von Chapman connected with Vance Settlemire for a 47-yard touchdown on the next AU possession. Anthony McCarthy added a 26-yard field goal and then the Eagles blocked an NMU punt and Kyle Tomko returned it 17 yards for a touchdown.
The home team wasn't finished in the second quarter as Tomko intercepted NMU junior quarterback Dustin Thomas to setup another touchdown. Chapman found Dan Pikko in the endzone for a 27-yard score and a 31-10 halftime lead.
Ashland scored on its first possession of the second half on a pass from Austin Bruns to Matt Schweitzer.
The home team added two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter on the back of Settlemire.
Thomas and Craig hooked up for a 17-yard score with 9:37 left and NMU wasn't able to score on a fourth and goal as time ran out.
Scepaniak started the game and finished 10-for-14 with 117 yards passing. Thomas was 8-for-11 with 102 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. He also rushed for 57 yards. Collier led the ground attack with 71 yards on 19 carries. Craig, Tucker and Jessie all had five receptions. Craig finished with 112 yards receiving
Chapman was 9-for-16 through the air for 164 yards and two touchdowns. Taylor had 119 yards rushing and Piko had 113 yards receiving.
Jamie Meder led the Ashland defense with 10 total tackles. The Eagles had five tackles-for-loss on the day, including two sacks.
NMU returns home to host Hillsdale at the Superior Dome on Oct. 5. The Chargers are 1-3 after a non-conference loss to Indianapolis this week.
Game Notes: NMU hasn't won at Ashland since the first meeting between the two teams in 1990?|The losing streak at Ashland is now 10 games?|Ashland has three straight wins in the series?|Ashland was selected first in the GLIAC South in the preseason coaches' poll.