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Thursday March 21, 2019
Angelo State Rolls Past Northern Michigan Wildcats

SAN ANGELO, Texas---The Northern Michigan University Wildcat football team opened the 2017 season Saturday night with a 48-20 loss to the Angelo State Rams in San Angelo, Texas.

The Wildcats fell behind, 12-0, less than six minutes into the game, but controlled much of the rest of the first half. Unfortunately for the 'Cats, they couldn't sustain their momentum, and the Rams ended the second quarter with two quick touchdowns.

Angelo State rolled up 660 yards of total offense, including 491 yards through the air.

The Rams got touchdown runs from Spencer Gilbert of five yards and Josh Stevens of ten yards to lead, 12-0, just 5:16 into the game.

But NMU put together a nice drive, with Jake Mayon carrying the load on the ground. Quarterback Jaranta Lewis hooked up with Michael Akinlade for a seven yard touchdown pass on third down. Freshman kicker Dalton Ray made the extra point.

The Wildcats had two straight defensive stops, and had the ball in Angelo State territory before Ray had a 33-yard field goal blocked. The other possession in Ram territory fizzled after a high snap forced Lewis to take a snap, followed by a holding penalty.

The Rams used a hurry-up, two-minute offense the entire game. And it clicked with touchdown passes from quarterback Jake Faber to Lawson Ayo and Larry Johnson in the final 2:39 of the half. All of a sudden, Northern was down, 26-7, at halftime.

Northern got back in the game early in the third quarter as Lewis hooked up with Ryan Knight for a 83-yard pass and catch down the middle of the field. The two-point play failed, but the 'Cats were within 26-13, and then the defense got a stop.

Unfortunately, again, Northern couldn't move the ball (other than one first down on a 15-yard pass to Knight) and had to punt.

The Rams went to work, with Ayo catching a 47-yard touchdown with 2:58 left in the third quarter. That was the turning point.

After Lewis was intercepted at midfield, the Rams quickly moved into the red zone, and Stevens scored on a six-yard run to put ASU up, 41-13. Gilbert added a short touchdown run, before NMU scored on the final play of the game on a 10-yard pass to Knight.

Faber completed 29-of-40 passes for 396 yards and three touchdowns for Angelo State, which had the advantage of playing in its second game of the season, while Northern was playing in its opener. Ayo had nine catches for 165 yards and two scores.

Northern was led by Mayon, who ran hard for 205 yards on 25 carries. Lewis completed 9-of-18 passes for 159 yards and those two touchdowns.

It doesn't get any easier for the Wildcats next week, as they travel to Ferris State next Saturday night. The Bulldogs are ranked No. 3 in the country in NCAA-Division Two.

Kickoff is 7:00. The game will be broadcast live on WUPT-FM (100.3 The Point), WCHT-AM (NewsTalk 600), and on-line at www.radioresultsnetwork.com.

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