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Huskies Insider Plus from Zach Kukkonen
October 22, 2008 - David Karnosky
Hey folks. Our MTU football beat reporter Zach Kukkonen has a bunch of great info from Saturday's football game. We're still in the process of getting him going with a blog of his own, but until then, I'll host it here:
Obviously a bunch of information from Saturday’s football game doesn’t make the cut for my stories in Monday’s paper, as I could write at least 2,000 words on the game. But for the readers’ sanity, I refrain and get the stories down to a readable length (most of the time, at least). Here are some interesting tidbits from Saturday’s game against Indianapolis that didn’t make the paper:
• Sophomore running back Phil Milbrath surpassed the 1,000-yard mark for the season with 69 yards Saturday. Milbrath only carried the ball 12 times in the game — with only three carries for three yards in the second half — because of a shoulder injury, but got the Huskies started early with 53 yards and his 17th touchdown of the season on their first drive. Milbrath’s accomplishment marks the sixth time in the last eight years Michigan Tech has had an 1,000-yard rusher (and Marvin Atkins missed last year by only 51 yards). This is a big credit to the Huskies’ offensive line factory — MTU has had an All-GLIAC lineman 13 of the last 14 years — but they have certainly had some excellent runners as well. Milbrath is having a historic year for the Huskies, as he will end up having one of the best rushing seasons in MTU history if he stays healthy his final three games. He has a shot at the all-time single season rushing touchdown record (23) and an outside shot at Lee Marana’s single-season yardage record (1,520). To tie both records, he needs two touchdowns and 157.3 yards per game the rest of the season. The rushing averages given up by the three final foes for the Huskies are 157.7/game for Saginaw Valley State, 167.5/game for Tiffin and 164.1/game for Northwood.
• One of the players coach Tom Kearly was high on heading into this season was redshirt freshman outside linebacker Jesse Vandenberg. The Kaukauna, Wis. native has proved worthy of the hype, as he has taken over one of the starting spots and had a career-high 11 tackles against Indianapolis. Vandenberg is third on the team in tackles this season with 48, including 2.5 for loss, two sacks and a fumble recovery. One of his biggest plays of the season came against Hillsdale, as he sacked quarterback Troy Weatherhead in the end zone to cut the deficit to 13-9 and shifted momentum back to the Huskies.
• Sophomore kicker Tyler Cattelino has had a bit of a rough season with extra points, as he is 24-of-31, but he has been solid from field goals, going 5-of-6. He hit a tough 42-yarder into the wind and made all four extra points Saturday and also had the difference-maker (a 37-yarder) against Findlay Oct. 18.
• Wideout Bobby Slowik caught five passes for 53 yards against Indianapolis after catching only one pass for 46 yards the past three games. Although Slowik was mostly used as a deep threat last season, he looked almost like a possession receiver Saturday, with his longest catch being 14 yards. Nonetheless, every one of his catches resulted in a first down.
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