MANKATO, Minn. – The Northern Michigan University football team (0-1) opened up the 2010 season Thursday night at MSU-Mankato (1-0). NMU won the statistical game by out-gaining the Mavericks in total offense by a count of 254-207. But in the end the home team scored a touchdown with a little over five minutes left in the game to pick up the win. The Wildcats answered, but went for the win in which they were not successful. Mankato took the opening game for both squads by a score of 7-6.
The NMU defense held the 18thranked Mavericks, in this week's American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division II Poll, to 10 first downs on the night and 99 yards passing. NMU recorded 15 first downs on the night. On the ground the Mavericks gained 108 yards. NMU ended the night with 34 yards rushing and 168 yards passing.
The Mavericks scored with 5:33 left in the game when Steve Pachan found Adam Thielen in the end zone for a 10-yard strike. With the good extra point the home team was up 7-0. NMU's score came when Carter Kopach found Christian Marble-King for a 19-yard touchdown pass with 42 ticks left on the clock. The 'Cats went for the win with the two-point conversion as Kopach's pass failed.
John Privitelli led the 'Cats on the ground with 51 yards on 17 carries. Kopach ended the night with 168 yards on 17-34-1. Marble-King playing in his first game in an NMU uniform hauled in a game-high six passes for 72 yards.
Defensively the 'Cats were led by Edwin Knoblock with seven total tackles (five solo and two assisted). Zach Anderson also had seven total tackles (one solo and six assisted). As a unit the 'Cat defense had five tackles-for-loss for -13 yards.
NMU faces Findlay next week to open up the home portion of the schedule. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. on Sept. 11.