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Friday October 7, 2022
Northern Football Team Loses To Davenport, 31-21

This story is courtesy of Davenport Athletics (Davenport Photo)

After a bye week, the Davenport Panther football team looked fresh and ready as they defeated Northern Michigan 31-21 in non-conference action at Farmers Insurance Athletic Complex on Saturday.

The Panthers used a solid rushing attack with 181 yards on the ground led by Caleef Jenkins. He rushed for a career-high 104 yards on 12 carries and scored twice in the first quarter. Six different Panthers carried the ball on the afternoon with Kyshawn Richards also rushing for 51 yards on seven carries.

Northern Michigan carried the ball 33 times for 112 yards (3.4 yards per rush) as the Panther defense limited the Wildcats to 279 total yards. Davenport finished with 301 total yards and completed 11-of-20 passes. The two-quarterback system of Johnny Saavedra and Jason Whittaker led the offense. Saavedra was 3-of-7 for 45 yards and got the start. Whittaker completed 8-of-13 passes for 75 yards and found Roy Livingstone late in the third quarter for a five-yard touchdown pass.

Jenkins carried for a two-yard score at 8:07 of the first quarter as DU responded to NMU's opening drive for a touchdown with one of their own. Jenkins again reached paydirt at 1:08 of the first quarter from eight yards out for a 14-7 lead. A big momentum play happened with 7:05 left in the second quarter as Shaq Floyd picked off Drake Davis and returned it 40 yards for a 21-7 lead. He was the last Panther to return one for a score coming against Gannon on March 20, 2021.

The Panthers allowed just seven points after halftime and it came in the third quarter as Tyshon King caught a seven-yard pass from Davis with 7:25 left capping off a six-play, 75-yard drive to make it 24-21. With a three-point lead, Whittaker found Livingstone in the back of the end zone on third-and-four from the NMU five-yard line to make it 31-21.

The Wildcats trailing 31-21 started at their own one-yard line after a Sy Barnett 68-yard punt with 11:49 left in the fourth quarter. Northern Michigan held the ball for 15 plays and gained 86 yards in 6:17 but came away with no points as kicker Daniel Riser hit the right upright with a 31-yard field goal attempt.

Davenport took over at 5:32 remaining and grinded out 45 yards in nine plays to advance to the NMU 33-yard line before taking a knee to end the game.

Davenport converted 8-of-12 on third down and went 3-for-3 for touchdowns in the red zone. Jalen Robinson led the defense with nine tackles. Payton Mitchell recorded six tackles as did Elysee Mbem-Bosse. The Panthers will host former GLIAC member Northwood next Saturday in their homecoming game set for 2:00 PM.

This story was written by NMU Sports Information

The Northern Michigan University football team hit the road for the first time this season, as they traveled to Davenport University to take on the Panthers.  

The Panthers came out on top 31-21 over the Wildcats.  


The Panthers won the coin toss and elected to defer to the second half.  

The Wildcats got off to a roaring start as they moved the ball down the field and Drake Davis connected with Wyatt Davis for a 35-yard touchdown to put the Wildcats out in front early.  

The Panthers were able to answer right back with a touchdown of their own to tie the game at 7.  

After a three-and-out by the Wildcats, the Panthers got the ball back and drove it down the field. They were able to punch it into the endzone to give them a 14-7 lead late in the first quarter.

Panthers 14, Wildcats 7 after one quarter of play. 


The Wildcats were forced to punt, Daniel Riser kicked a high arcing punt down to the Panther return man, who coughed it up, and Mequon Hudson was able to jump on it and give the ball back to the Wildcats.  

A missed field goal by the Wildcats gave the Panthers the ball back. A few plays later John McMullen met the defender in the backfield, and Brian Schieweck came in to finish of the huge tackle for loss.

The Wildcats forced a punt. On the first play of the drive, a Panthers defender jumped a route and came up with an interception that he returned for a touchdown. The Panthers went up 21-7.  

The next drive, Drake Davis connected with Charlie Gerhard for a 13-yard gain and a first down.  On third and two, Drake Davis was able to take the QB sneak and convert another first down for the Wildcats.  The Wildcats were forced to punt it away.

A defensive stand by the Wildcats forced the Panthers to punt it right back to them.  

The Panthers jumped in front of another pass and came up with another interception.  

The first play of the Panthers drive after the interception, Antonio Howard came flying off the edge to come up with a sack and a forced fumble, that was recovered by Brian Schieweck.  

After the fumble the Drake Davis connected with Brenden Sersaw for a 10-yard gain and a first down.  Then Brock Franklin was able to punch it in the endzone from two yards out to get the Wildcats some points before the half.

At halftime the score was Panthers 21, Wildcats 14.  


The Panthers got the ball first to start the second half.  

The Panthers were able to move the ball into Wildcat territory, where the defense rose to the occasion. On 3rd and 8, a deep pass down the field was broken up by DJ Hutherson. Antonio Howard had a QB hurry on the play as well. The Panthers were forced to settle for a field goal.  The field goal was good, and the Panthers led 24-14.

On the Wildcats first drive of the second half Drake Davis found Brenden Sarsaw for an eight yard completion. They were faced with a 3rd and short. Drake Davis took the QB sneak and was able to move the chains.  

A few plays later, Drake Davis found Wyatt Davis down the left sideline for a 36-yard gain.  Davis made a spectacular catch, high pointing the ball over the defender and was able to get a foot inbounds.

The next play Drake Davis found Tyshon King in the flats, King was able to out run the defender and sneak inside the right pylon for a Wildcat touchdown. The PAT was good and the Wildcats inched closer. Panthers 24, Wildcats 21.

The Panthers were able to methodically move the ball down the field. They connected on a five yard touchdown pass to go up 31-21.

After three quarters of play the Panthers led the Wildcats 31-21.


On 3rd and 13, John McMullen was able to get home for the sack and forced a Panther punt.  

A very good punt had the Wildcats pinned down at the one yard line.  A five yard rush got them out from the shadow of their endzone.  Tyshon King then ripped off a 12-yard rush.  Faced with a 3rd and 7, Drake Davis used his legs to pick up another first down on a nine yard gain.  

Wyatt Davis came up with another incredible catch, reaching out with one hand and pulling it in.  Drake Davis put that pass where only Wyatt Davis could get it.  That completion was good for a 28-yard gain.  

Tyshon King took the handoff and ran around the right side and picked up 16-yards and yet another Wildcat first down.  

The Wildcats set themselves up for a field goal attempt.  The attempt was no good and the score stayed 31-21 in favor of the Panthers.  

The Panthers got the ball back with just over five minutes left, they were able to get a few first downs and ice the game.  

Panthers 31, Wildcats 21. 


Drake Davis connected with Wyatt Davis for a 35-yard touchdown.

Brock Franklin found the endzone on a two yard rush.

Drake Davis found Tyshon King for a seven yard touchdown.  

Antonio Howard had a sack and forced fumble, Mequon Hudson recovered the fumble.

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