Undefeated Huskies take on Davenport
HOUGHTON — When asked mid-week if he and his team were still basking in Saturday’s one-point 31-30 overtime win against Hillsdale College, Huskies head football coach Steve Olson responded with a definitive “No.”
“It was a hard-fought game as was to be expected,” he said. “It could have gone either way.”
The Huskies won the game on a missed extra point by Hillsdale in overtime and moved to 2-0 on the season.
“I was very happy with our tenacity to keep scraping away,” he said.
In particular, Olson was pleased with a 70-yard drive, which took more than 6:30 minutes, to tie the game in the fourth quarter. The offensive line opened up some key slots which allowed their running back James Henderson to scamper in for a touchdown. Henderson led the Huskies with 120 rushing yards.
Henderson leads the rushing corps with 225 yards on 59 carries with one touchdown.
Olson feels that his team is working hard to finish games as effectively as they start them.
“We’ve been working on finishing games and this was a good start,” he said.
Interestingly, Hillsdale had more total yardage in the game with 381. Michigan Tech had 360, but the Huskies held the ball more with 31:15 minutes versus 28:45 for the Chargers.
Olson was happy with his offensive line which gave his quarterback, Will Ark, plenty of time in the pocket to throw for 214 yards.
“I was very pleased with Will,” he said. “Each week he is becoming more of a team leader.”
The sophomore is clicking on 58.9 percent of his attempts and has one touchdown on the season.
Defensively, Olson was satisfied with the play of linebacker Marvin Wright. The junior from Lansing had a sack, a blocked punt and a blocked pass last week.
This weekend, the Davenport Panthers will arrive at Sherman Field 2-0 as well. This is already an improvement for them as they went 0-9 a year ago. In their season opener, the Panthers defeated Robert Morris University, 44-7. Last week, they squeaked a win out against UW-Oshkosh, 7-3.
Last year, the Huskies beat them 17-10 at Sherman Field.
This season, the Panthers have pushed things offensively on the ground, where they are averaging 152 yards per game, and in the air, where they have thrown for 237.5 yards per game. Where they have struggled is on third down conversions, where they sit with a 42 percent efficiency. Interestingly, when they get into fourth downs, that number jumps significantly to 67 percent.
Juniors Michael Catching and Seth Acda are sharing the load in the running game with 20 and 22 touches, respectively. Junior quarterback Haiden Majewski is quickly blossoming into a dual threat as well, rushing for 30.5 yards per game while also throwing for 88 yards a contest.
The Panthers employ a two-quarterback system, so Majewski splits snaps with junior Deondre Ford. Ford is averaging 140.5 yards per contest through two games and has already thrown four touchdown passes.
Junior Nate Couturier leads the receiving corps with seven catches for 126 yards on the season. He also has two touchdown catches.
Olson said that Davenport is a very different team this year as they had a lot of roster turnover due to graduation.
“Every team in the GLIAC is on the field to win. Davenport is no different,” he said. “They are coached well and tough competitors. They’re an athletic team with a number of guys who can run. They run a lot of screens and pass options and challenge you vertically with receivers that have speed. “Defensively they will jump and play a tough man to man. We’ve got to be ready.”