Huskies look to end losing streak during Hall of Fame Weekend
HOUGHTON — It is Hall of Fame Weekend this Saturday as the Michigan Tech Huskies welcome the Wayne State Warriors to Sherman Field. The Huskies are coming off a tough loss last weekend against Ferris State, 42-24. Michigan Tech outscored Ferris State 24-14 in the second half, but couldn’t overcome the 28-point first half deficit.
“I thought our kids battled pretty hard, but there was a key spot in the game just before halftime when their punter kicked a boomer and pinned us deep,” said Huskies head coach Steve Olson. “It eventually led to another touchdown for them and we are down 28-0 headed into half.”
Sophomore quarterback Will Ark led the Huskies offense by completing 17 passes for a season- and career-high 306 yards while adding two more touchdowns to his 2018 totals. Ark has eight TD strikes and 1,312 yards passing through six games this year. Senior Jacob Wenzlick reeled in six more receptions for 148 yards and his third touchdown of the year.
Defensively, junior linebacker Marvin Wright matched a season and career high with 15 tackles, with two of those stops being quarterback sacks.
The Huskies are now 2-4 in regular season play and 0-4 in GLIAC action. Michigan Tech has played the toughest schedule in all of NCAA Division II college football through the first six weeks of the season. Not counting games against Tech, opponents have a combined record of 27-3.
Grand Valley State and Ferris State are ranked second and third, respectively, in the most recent AFCA NCAA Division II Top 25 Poll. In total, five of the six opponents Tech has faced are either ranked or receiving votes in the poll. Three GLIAC teams, including this week’s opponent Wayne State, have schedules ranked as one of the 10 toughest in Division II football.
“We feel that, for the most part, we have been in all these games,” said Olson. “This gives us a measuring stick and it allows us to look at how we played but, more importantly, how are we going to bounce back for these four last games.”
The Wayne State Warriors (1-5, 0-3 GLIAC) have lost five games in a row coming into Saturday’s showdown with the Huskies. The Warriors’ lone win was a 31-0 decision over former GLIAC member Walsh University in the season opener on Aug. 30. Wayne State lost at home last week to Davenport, 37-14, a team that remains undefeated at 6-0.
Quarterback Jake Amrhein helps guide the Wayne State offense, completing 62 of 124 pass attempts for 821 yards, six touchdowns, and seven interceptions in five games played.
Running back Demetrius Stinson leads the ground attack with a 74.6 yards per game average in five games played. DeOntay Moffett is the primary runner in the red zone, having scored five of the Warriors six rushing touchdowns this season.
“We want to get to that spot this weekend where we are able to run the football and pop some big runs against them,” said Olson.
Wayne State is second in the GLIAC in punt returns coming into the game with an average of 15.1 yards per return. Darece Roberson is a big reason why as he racks up 23.0 yards per return and had a return for a touchdown against Davenport.
Michigan Tech and Wayne State will meet for the 29th time on Saturday. The Warriors hold a 18-10 lead in the all-time series, but the Huskies have won six of the last eight showdowns. Wayne State won 10 games in a row at the beginning of the series, with the first game being played in 1967.
A year ago, Wayne State defeated the Huskies, 20-14, at Sherman Field. The Huskies pulled out to a 14-6 lead early in the second quarter, but 14 unanswered points by the Warriors proved to be the difference in the game.
“We have been working hard this week to try and figure out what we need to do to get a win out of this weekend,” said Olson.