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College Football: Tech holds off Northwood, 34-21

The Michigan Tech defense stops the Northwood offense on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, in Houghton, Mich. (David Archambeau/The Daily Mining Gazette)

HOUGHTON — The Michigan Tech Huskies closed out their 2019 football season on a high note Saturday while at home in Kearly Stadium.

The Huskies (5-5, 3-5 GLIAC) defeated Northwood University 34-21 to close out the season.

“We knew this was going to be a tough game,” said Huskies head coach Steve Olson. “We knew that there was going to be some adversity and we would need guys to step up and make plays. I thought our receiving corp made some great plays today, and I was extremely happy with our ability to run the football.”

The Huskies wasted no time in establishing their running game. Will Marano opened MTU’s first drive by finding holes and getting through. He had three big runs that got the Huskies in position for kicker Evan Gornick to nail a 26-yard field goal and put the Huskies on the board at the 7:24 mark.

Gornick was right back at it in the second quarter with another field goal to make the score 6-0 in MTU’s favor.

With less than two minutes to go before half MTU freshman running back Emmett Boehler capped a seven-play 70-yard drive with 3-yard charge through the goal line. With the point after good, the Huskies head to the locker room 13-0.

In the third quarter, the Timberwolves notched their first touchdown and extra point at the 6:50 mark. Christian Martinez pulled in an 8-yard pass from their quarterback Nate Gomez.

The Huskies, however, answered in the fourth with a touchdown of their own. Boehler had his second score with a 7-yard scamper to make the score 20-7 in favor of the Huskies.

The Timberwolves responded with their second touchdown of the game just two minutes later when Tajae Leslie caught a 66-yard pass and scored. With the extra point good, it placed Northwood within a touchdown of MTU with a 14-20 score and more than nine minutes on the clock.

However that was as close as NMU would get as the the Huskies were able to put up two more touchdowns to Northwood’s one. Michigan Tech’s third touchdown on the day was an impressive 73-yard pass from quarterback Will Ark to wide receiver Jake Wenzlick at the 8:56 mark. That put MTU up 27-14.

“Our receivers ran good routes and Will (ark) delivered the ball well and we made some big plays,” Olson said. “Finishing drives was key for us, and we were able to punch the ball into the end zone in the fourth quarter and placed some distance between us and Northwood.”

The Huskies posted an impressive 585 yards of total offense on the afternoon. This included 268 yards of rushing and 317 passing yards. On the other side, Northwood totaled just 256 yards.

As well the Huskies controlled the ball for 41:17 minutes compared to just 18:43 for the Timberwolves.

Senior running back Jared Smith led MTU’s the ground attack with 174 yards on 25 carries. Wenzlick led the squad in pass receptions with 162 yards. His longest catch was for 73 yards.

Before it was all over, Michigan Tech said goodbye to 18 seniors. They were honored alongside their parents in a brief pregame ceremony.

“I am proud of this senior group,” Olson said. “They worked their tails off and they will be leaders in their places of work and their communities. It was a great group to coach.”

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