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6006 articles
Monday July 22, 2024

This story was written by NMU Sports Information

The Northern Michigan University football team welcomed the UW-La Crosse Eagles to the dome for the Wildcats homecoming game. The Eagles would go on to win 34-3.

The loss drops the Wildcats to 0-3, with the Eagles improving to 2-1. It will be a tough stretch ahead for NMU as they look for their first win, with three road games coming up.
  • The Eagles more than doubled-up the Wildcats in total yardage, 429-200.
  • Mitch Larkin recorded a career-high 15 tackles, the top mark in the game.
  • Tyquan Cox rushed 21 times for 84 yards (4.0 ypc)
  • Starting in place of injured QB Mariano Valenti, Jake Bilitz went 9-14 through the air for 42 yards
  • UWL's Ryan Bartol had a standout performance, hauling in six receptions for 90 yards and a pair of scores
The Green and Gold struggled on each side of the ball from the start. Receiving the opening kickoff, the Eagles march 61 yards on nine plays, capped off by a Keyser Helterbrand scramble from the one-yard line to open up the scoring.

A Wildcat 3-and-out followed, and the offense of UW-La Crosse kept flowing, this time covering 74 yards on nine plays, as Helterbrand found Ryan Bartol on a corner fade to jump ahead 14-0 just over halfway through the opening frame.

The Wildcats continued to look stagnant on offense, failing to move the ball again leading to a punt. UWL would then march again, but fall short on NMU's side of the fied, settling for a field goal attempt. It was 17-0 early in the 2nd quarter in favor of the visitors.

After another NMU 3-and-out, Davion Brooks made a splash play on defense, picking off Helterbrand to give Northern positive field position. After a brief march into the redzone, the Wildcats were unable to capitalize, missing a 22-yard FG.

Nearing halftime, UW-La Crosse capped off their third long drive of the half, this time a 13-play, 80-yard march, that ended in a second score on the afternoon for wideout Ryan Barkol. In response in the final seconds of half one, Michael Karlen hit from 44-yards out to get the 'Cats on the board, but trailing 24-3 heading into the locker room.

The Eagles commanded total yards 247-96 in the half, while having their way on third downs, going 8-9. NMU was an empty 0-4 on 3rd downs in the half.

Neither side was able to manage a score in the third quarter. NMU had the best opportunity to add another field goal, but the 32-yard attempt sailed wide right as the 'Cats continued to face a 24-3 deficit heading to the final 15 minutes of play.

The first score came from UWL with just over six minutes left in the contest, a successful field goal following an extended drive of draining the clock to make it 27-3.

To cap off an impressive road performance, the Eagles gained the ball on the Wildcats 37 with just under four minutes left and marched the distance in three plays, scoring on a QB sneak from the one yard line to make it 34-3.

The clock would run down, and the Wildcats dropped homecoming by a final score of 34-3.

The Wildcats will hit the road for three straight weeks, starting with a trip to Quincy for a battle on Saturday, September 23, with opening kickoff slated for 2 p.m. ET.

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