CALEDONIA, Mich. – Northern Michigan University Football traveled to the nation's top defense in Davenport University, and despite an early lead, would fall to the Panthers 31-30 in overtime in a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference contest.
| TWO-WAY ATTACK
Sophomore quarterback Latrell Giles (Chicago, Ill./Leo Catholic) led the offense completing nine passes for 119 yards through the air and the ground attack with 63 yards on 16 carries and a touchdown.
| ATTACKING THROUGH THE AIR
Aiding the offense was senior Jake Mayon (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield East), who chipped in with 50 rushing yards and a touchdown while sophomore Ravon Johnson (Willowbrook, Ill./Hinsdale South) added two catches for 64 yards.
Redshirt freshman Benjamin Loutsis (Aurora, Ill./Metea Valley) had three catches for 28 yards and also caught his third touchdown of the season.
| DEFENSIVE LEADERS
Sophomore Brady Hanson (Kewaskum, Wis.) paced the defense with 11 tackles, his third-straight game with double-figure tackles. Junior Troy Mayon (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield East) added nine tackles while freshman Jack Reiger (Hoffman Estates, Ill./James B. Conant) posted eight, including a sack for nine yards.
| OPENING DRIVE
The Wildcats started the game with the ball and capped a 92-yard, 16-play, 10-minute drive with a touchdown from Giles.
Mayon started the drive from the eight-yard line with a six-yard rush but after a false start, the team was back to 2nd and 9 from the NMU 10-yard line. Giles then found junior Michael Akinlade (Birmingham, England/St. Matthew Academy) for five yards and Mayon and Giles went back to back for eight yards to move NMU to their 31 yard line.
After a four-yard loss, Giles hit Mayon for a 10-yard pass then carried it for 10 yards. With the ball on the NMU 45-yard line, a DU facemask penalty helped the NMU offense cross the 50-yard line.
Sophomore Deandre Caldwell (Kankakee, Ill.) then carried three times and moved it up to DU 17-yard line. An offside penalty followed by another Giles carry put NMU on the Davenport two-yard line. However, a false start followed by a two-yard loss moved them back to the nine.
Giles answered by hitting senior receiver Josh Hafner (St. Johns, Mich./Ithaca) for an eight-yard reception. On 4th and Goal from the one-yard line, the NMU offensive line pushed the Panther defense back which allowed Giles to score his third rushing touchdown of the season.
| MAYON SCORES HIS 6TH TD
The Wildcats took over on their 42-yard line in the third quarter, and Giles opened the drive by hitting Loutsis for a five-yard gain. After a Mayon one-yard carry, Giles and Loutsis were unable to connect, but a Panther holding penalty moved NMU into Davenport territory. Giles then hit Johnson for 18 yards and put NMU on the DU 24-yard line. On the next play, Mayon carried It 24 yards to cross the end zone and score his sixth yard touchdown.
| DEFENSE MAKES PLAYS
The NMU defense came up big and made several big plays for the Wildcats. On the first play of the third quarter, senior Jalen Saunders (Auburn Hills, Mich./Avondale) forced a fumble then recovered it, setting up a field goal to help NMU take a 10-3 lead.
On the next DU possession, the Panthers found the end zone, but senior Terrell Johnson (Maywood, Ill./Montini Catholic) blocked the extra point attempt, keeping the Wildcat lead at 10-9 in the third quarter.
Later in the quarter, the NMU defense forced the hosts to punt. A bad snap led to the punter fumbling the ball which Alex Hamilton (Chesterfield, Mich./Anchor Bay) recovered and raced into the end zone to move the Wildcats ahead 24-9.
With the game tied at 24-24 and seconds remaining on the clock, DU had a chance to win the game with a 20-yard field goal. Redshirt freshman Trevor Roberts (Kingsford, Mich.) was able to get through and block the field goal attempt to send the game into overtime.
On their first play of overtime, Davenport completed a pass into the end zone to take a 31-24 lead.
For NMU, Mayon was dropped three yards behind the line of scrimmage on the first play to bring up 2nd and 13. Giles attempted a pass to Johnson on the next play, and DU was called for pass interference to put NMU on the 13-yard line. On the next play, Giles hit Loutsis for a 13-yard touchdown.
The Wildcats went for the two-point conversion on the next play, but Giles pass to Mayon fell incomplete, giving Davenport a 31-30 victory.
| UP NEXT
NMU falls to 1-4 on the season and 0-3 in the GLIAC while Davenport moves to 5-0, 3-0 in the league. NMU will now return to the Superior Dome and will host Northwood University Saturday afternoon. The football team is sponsoring a food drive as part of the game and invites all fans to bring canned goods to donate to the NMU Food Pantry.