Familiar Foe: Huskies open up their home season at Sherman Field against Chargers

David Archambeau/Daily Mining Gazette The Huskies’ Jacob Wenzlick runs with the ball during a game against the Warriors last season at Sherman Field. The Huskies have their home opener Saturday.

HOUGHTON — The Michigan Tech Huskies football team will open the home portion of the 2018 season this Saturday at 1 p.m. at Sherman Field against a very familiar foe in the Hillsdale Chargers. The Huskies are coming off a big 20-10 victory on the road last week at Truman State in Kirksville, Missouri, in their season opener.

“I saw some good things,” said Huskies head coach Steve Olson. “We just need to become more consistent in our play throughout the game.

Olson was quick to identify exactly what he felt was a key area of concern already.

“We need to do better on third-down conversions,” he said. “That haunted us last year.”

Olson said he liked the play of running back James Henderson. Henderson led the Huskies with 105 yards on the ground.

Senior wide receiver Jacob Wenzlick caught seven passes for 172 yards and had a touchdown. Junior wide receiver Ben Hartley scored the other. Freshman kicker Eric Zeboor booted in two field goals to add to the scoring.

“Our offensive line was consistent and solid in giving us a chance to run the football,” Olson said.

He added that on the defensive side, Travis Tidwell had a timely interception in the third quarter which set up a field goal for Zaboor.

The Huskies will have to have their game face on this weekend as they face a longtime former GLIAC rival in the Chargers. In their more than 25-year rivalry, Hillsdale leads the battle 19-8 and usually makes life difficult for the Huskies.

Last year, the Huskies lost on the road to the Chargers 31-27 in a game that saw the Huskies take a lead into the fourth quarter only to give up 21 unanswered swered points.

Olson said that his team will be facing more or less the same Hillsdale squad. With that in mind, they’ve been working this week on how to reverse last year’s awful ending into a far more favorable one.

“They lost very few guys and are led by senior quarterback Chance Stewart who has started all four years for them,” Olson said. “He and the offense like to run a lot of pass-option plays.”

The Chargers will arrive at Sherman Field 1-0 as well after beating the Mercyhurst Lakers 14-9 last week.

“They are a solid well-coached team,” said Olson. “We have to play a complete game. You can’t be up by 17 points in the fourth quarter and lose the game. We had a chance to win that one, both offensively and defensively, and we blew it. We can’t do that again.”