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Sunday September 23, 2018
Mayon Runs Wild; Wildcats Earn Homecoming Win

This story was written by NMU Sports Information

Junior Jake Mayon rushed for a career-high 247 yards and two touchdowns to propel Northern Michigan University to a 24-14 victory over Davenport University Saturday at the Superior Dome on Homecoming.

Freshman quarterback Ryan Johnson stepped behind center for his first career start and threw for 131 yards and a touchdown.  Sophomore Ryan Knight caught the touchdown pass and finished the day with 53 receiving yards.  

Two seniors led the Wildcat defense as Darryl Williams posted 15 tackles and Marlon Harris added 14.  Sophomore Troy Mayon recorded nine tackles. 

As a team, the defense forced three fumbles, recovering one.  Senior Pat Ryan, junior Austin McCarthy and junior Brad Gustafson each forced a fumble with redshirt freshman Scott Tripp recovering one. 

NMU started quick out of the gate, scoring on their first two possessions.  Mayon scored from 49 yards out on the fifth play, capping a drive he finished with 72 yards.

After forcing the Panthers into a quick three and out, NMU scored again. Starting from their 35-yard line, Johnson found senior Walter Jacksono for 18 yards on the third play of the drive.

Mayon then ran three times for 10 yards before Johnson found Knight behind the defense, dropping the ball into Knight's hands as he crossed the goal line, to give NMU the 14-7 lead after freshman kicker Dalton Ray was successful on each point after attempt.

On the third drive, Ray added to the Wildcat lead with a 22-yard field goal to finish a drive highlighted by a 75-yard run by Mayon to get the team down to the 10-yard line.

The teams would then exchange possessions throughout the second quarter, giving the hosts a 17-0 lead at the half. 

Out of the break, the Panthers started marching down the field, getting down to the NMU 19-yard line.  It appeared Davenport would score, but Ryan managed to pop the ball loose on the 1 yard line, which Tripp recovered in the end zone to end the DU scoring threat.

To begin the fourth quarter, the guests found the end zone, narrowing the gap to 17-7 after the extra point.  Starting another drive at 8:02 left in the game, the Panthers took advantage of starting their possession on the NMU 26-yard line, due to a solid punt return, by scoring their second touchdown, reducing the Wildcat lead to 17-14.

However, Mayon wouldn't allow the momentum shift as he scampered 58 yards, including a cutback against the defense down the field, to score his second touchdown of the game and pushing the lead back up to 24-14. 

Davenport would be unable to move the ball the rest of the game, giving the Wildcats the 24-14 win and their first victory of the season to cap the Homecoming Weekend festivities. 

With the win, NMU improves to 1-2 overall and 1-1 in the GLIAC while DU falls to 0-4 and 0-3.  The Wildcats will hit the road next Saturday as they visit rival Houghton to take on Michigan Tech in the Miner's Cup.

The game will be broadcast on WUPT-FM (100.3) in Marquette, WCHT-AM (600) in Escanaba, and on-line ay

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