MARQUETTE, Mich. – For the 11th straight season, Michigan Tech defeated rival Northern Michigan for the Miner’s Cup 21-14 at Superior Dome in a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference football game. Tied 14-14 late in the fourth quarter, quarterback Will Ark delivered an eight-yard strike to a wide-open Jordan Janssen on a slant down the right sideline, giving the Huskies the final lead with just 18 seconds to play and the victory. John Paramski also made a crucial fourth quarter interception to help turn the momentum.
“It’s awesome,” said senior linebacker John Paramski. “We knew they were going to come out and play hard on their home field like they always do. We knew we had to play all the way to the end as hard as we could and I was proud we came out on top.”
“It means a lot to us,” said senior wide receiver Hunter Richards. “First of all, hats off to Northern. They always give us their best effort out there. To fight through that adversity and prove it to ourselves that we could win late, I think that it shows a lot about this team.”
Michigan Tech (4-2, 3-0 GLIAC) improved to 48-41-5 in the all-time series against NMU, including a 16-3 record since the first Miner’s Cup was built in 2002. Northern Michigan (3-4, 1-2 GLIAC) led 14-7 after three quarters but the Huskies came back.
“I’m tremendously proud of our coaching staff and our players for hanging in there and continuing to battle,” commented head coach Steve Olson. “It wasn’t the prettiest game but I was very pleased at how they worked and fought the whole way today.”
HOW IT HAPPENED
After a pair of three and outs to begin the contest, Ark constructed an 8-yard completion to Janssen to end an eight-play, 85-yard drive. The Wildcats countered in the final minute of the first quarter when Drew Davis took a quarterback keeper into the endzone from the one-yard line. Neither team scored in the second quarter and Marvin Wright collected a sack prior to the break and forced a fumble by DJ Stewart. After James Daanan recovered, Tech’s offense stagnated in their own territory.
Drake Davis found Wyatt Davis up the middle of the field for a 42-yard connection on the Wildcats’ first drive of the third quarter to give NMU a 14-7 edge. The Huskies drove the ball deep into Wildcat territory and after an extended timeout, Ark ran against the grain on an end around for a 10-yard score. Will Marano ran the ball four times on the six-play, 30-yard drive.
The Huskies avoided catastrophe on their next possession when Ark fumbled the ball, but Preston Graf fell on it and the Huskies punted. Then Paramski patrolled the middle and nabbed an interception at the 10-yard line to end the opposing threat.
Northern Michigan sacked Ark on the one-yard line on third down, forcing Drew Wyble to punt out of the back of the endzone with 3:20 to play. Starting out on the Husky 28, Tech’s defense forced a 41-yard field goal try, which Daniel Riser missed to the right.
The Huskies started out their final drive with 1:42 to play. Will Marano shuffled up the right sideline for 12 yards through plenty of contact on third down. Then Ark completed a pass to Richards for 25 more. Ark found time in the pocket and delivered a perfect floater to Jordan Janssen, left unattended for the winning touchdown.
BY THE NUMBERS
The Huskies ended with 358 of total offense, including 297 through the air. Janssen led the receiving corps with 89 yards and two touchdowns. Darius Willis made four receptions for 82 yards while Richards ended with three receptions and 42 yards. Marano led the ground game with 54 net yards on 17 attempts. The Huskies mustered just 21 yards on the rush in the first half but held Northern Michigan to 15.
Ark completed 22 of 29 passes with one interception and two touchdowns. He was sacked three times. Conversely, Drake Davis went 17 of 25 for 230 yards, one interception, and a pair of sacks. Wyatt Davis led the Wildcats with 199 yards receiving and one touchdown.
Wyble went 0-1 on field goal tries with a 34-yard miss in the second quarter. Both teams punted well. The Huskies picked up just one penalty for 10 negative yards.
Michigan Tech hosts No. 3 ranked Ferris State next Saturday for a 1 p.m. EST kickoff at Kearly Stadium.