MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University football team opened up the 2022 campaign by hosting the McKendree University Bearcats in the first night game in the Superior Dome in over ten years.

The Bearcats came out on top 31-24 in Overtime.

FIRST QUARTER

McKendree opened up the game by winning the coin toss and chose to receive the ball.

Daniel Riser opened up the game by kicking to McKendree, and the Bearcats ran the ball 29 yards and was taken down by Tavion McCarthy. A few short drives later, McKendree found themselves in the endzone adding six. The extra point was good, which brought the score to 0-7.

NMU gained possession after the kickoff, but couldn’t complete the drive. Daniel Riser punted the ball back to McKendree. The Bearcats quickly answered back with a 53-yard touchdown pass to go 0-14.

Holding possession for many drives, special teams were called in for the Wildcats, and Daniel Riser attempted to make a field goal but was unsuccessful.

McKendree gained possession, but DJ Hutcherson came up with a momentum-killing interception and brought it back into Bearcat Territory. Drake Davis faked the handoff, rolled out left, and found Cam White wide open in the back of the endzone. The extra point was good, and the second quarter ended at a score of 7-14.

SECOND QUARTER

Early in the second, McKendree found themselves in position for a field goal, a successful attempt brought the score to 7-17.

Deandre Caldwell opened the drive with a 63-yard rush. Drake Davis followed that up with a touchdown pass across the middle to Wyatt Davis to put another six on the board. Daniel Riser converted the extra point and it brought the score to 14-17, still in favor of the Bearcats. That would be the score that both sides took into the locker room.

THIRD QUARTER

On the Wildcats’ first drive of the second half, Drake Davis found Keyon’TA Skinner for a 14-yard pitch and catch to extend the Wildcat drive.

Tyshon King caught a screen in the middle of the field and followed his blocks down to the 10-yard line for a 52-yard gain on the play.

Two plays later, King finished off the drive with a TD run to give the Wildcats their first game lead.

The Bearcats put a few plays together at the end of the third to find themselves in the red zone just before the quarter ended.

FOURTH QUARTER

Mequon Hudson started the fourth quarter with a huge tackle for loss to put the Bearcats in a 3rd and long. In the next play, Jhermari Mabry came up with the sack. The Bearcats came up short on their field goal attempt, and the Wildcats gained possession.

Facing a 3rd and long early on the possession, Drake Davis showed up his pocket awareness to elude a sack and use his legs to pick up the necessary yardage for a first down.

Deandre Caldwell burst through the middle for a 20-yard gain to put the Wildcats in a prime position in Bearcat territory.

Davis was hit from behind on the next play and the ball squirted loose, but Tyshon King was in the right place at the right time to scoop up the fumble and preserve the field goal attempt. The attempt was unsuccessful and the Bearcats took over.

On third and short the Bearcats completed a 40-yard pass down the right sideline. Two plays later the Bearcats ran one in from 20 yards out to take a 24-21 lead late in the fourth quarter.

Tyshon King ran around the outside for a 20-yard gain the get the drive started. A Bearcat penalty put the Wildcats inside the 30-yard line.

After back-to-back penalties on the Wildcats, they were forced into a 2nd and long. The Davis to Davis connection gave the Wildcats a first down inside the 20-yard line. Wyatt ran a beautiful route and Drake put the ball right where it needed to be.

Penalties pushed the Wildcats out of field goal range, but two dump-off passes to Tyshon King put them right back in range for a field goal attempt. A successful attempt by Daniel Riser evened the score 24-24.

On the final play, Edward Pierson put pressure on the QB and got him off rhythm, so he couldn’t get enough on the hail-mary attempt. The pass fell incomplete and we headed to overtime.

OVERTIME

McKendree possessed the ball first in overtime.

The Bearcats got the ball down to the 1-yard line, and the Wildcat defense stuffed them three straight times to set up fourth down.

On fourth down the Bearcats were able to punch it in from 1 yard out to go up 24-31.

The Wildcats then got possession of their own.

After a few nice plays that gained some yards, the Wildcat offense wasn’t able to convert on fourth down, and they turned it over on downs.

KEY PLAYS

DJ Hutcherson had an interception, which led to a Wildcat Touchdown.

Drake Davis found Cam White in the back of the endzone for a 5-yard Touchdown.

Deandre Caldwell ripped off a 63-yard run in the second quarter.

Drake Davis found Wyatt Davis across the middle for a Touchdown.

Tyshon King found the endzone on a 2-yard run.

Daniel Riser made a 42-yard field goal to tie the game late in the fourth.

STAT LEADERS

Drake Davis: 20-31, 211 yards, 2 TD; 12 carries, 90 yards

Tyshon King: 11 carries, 54 yards, 1 TD; 9 catches, 94 yards

Deandre Caldwell: 9 carries, 103 yards

Mequon Hudson: 11 total tackles (8 solos, 3 assisted)

Justin Peake: 11 total tackles (4 solos, 7 assisted); 1.5 sacks

UP NEXT

The Wildcats will host the University of Wisconsin- Oshkosh Saturday, September 10th at 1 p.m.