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Thursday March 21, 2019
Wildcats Face Huge Football Challenge On Saturday

MARQUETTE---The Northern Michigan University football team faces the fifth-ranked team in the country, the Grand Valley State Lakers, Saturday at the Superior Dome.

Both teams practiced at the dome on Friday in preparation for the game.

NMU is 1-1 after a non-conference loss at McKendree (Ill.) in its opener, before bouncing back last week to beat Texas-Permian Basin, 27-22.

Grand Valley State is 2-0 after winning a pair of tough games at home over Indianapolis, 30-7, and on the road at Delta State (Mississippi), 21-10.

NMU rushed for 337 yards on 61 carries to defeat The University of Texas of the Permian Basin 27-22 in the team's home opener last Saturday.

The Wildcats took a 10-0 lead in the first quarter, then added a field goal in the second quarter and another touchdown in the third quarter. With the score 20-16, NMU scored with 4:50 left to play to secure their first victory of the season.

Jake Mayon leads the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and second nationally with 198.5 yards rushing per game. Sophomore Latrell Giles (Chicago, Ill. / Leo Catholic) is seventh in the league with 67 yards per game  while sophomore Deandre Caldwell (Kankakee, Ill.) is 12th with 48 yards per game.

As a team, NMU is second in conference  with 310 yards rushing per game, which puts them sixth nationally.Senior Jake Mayon (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield East) is approaching a school record for rushing yards in a career with 3,112 yards and is just 731 yards away from the school record.

In the season opener at McKendree, Mayon went for 173 yards and then followed it with a 224 yard performance against UTPB.

The captain also has scored a touchdown in each outing this season.

NMU dominated the time of possession in Saturday's contest, finishing the afternoon with the ball for 40:15 of the game.  For the season, the Wildcat offense has possessed the ball an average of 37 minutes per game.

Latrell Giles and redshirt freshman Benjamin Loutsis (Aurora, Ill./Metea Valley) have connected for a touchdown in both games this season.  In the opener, the pair connected for a 66-yard touchdown.

On Saturday, the duo combined for a 15-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter.

Loutsis is leading the NMU receivers with eight catches and 172 yards receiving.

The NMU defense recorded their first sacks of the season in Saturday win, finishing with two sacks.  Sophomore Logan McHone (Pleasanton, Calif./Valley Christian) posted a solo sack while redshirt freshman Jacob Dudeck (Manhattan, Ill./Lincoln Way West) and senior Abram Cook(Surprise, Ariz. / Valley Vista) teamed for another sack. 

The Wildcats enter the weekend looking to avenge a loss from last season and look to end a three game losing streak to the Lakers.

NMU is also looking for their second win over the Lakers since 2000.

Saturday's game starts at 1:00 and will broadcast live on WUPT-FM (100.3 The Point) and WCHT-AM (NewsTalk 600), and on-line at www.rrnsports.com.

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