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Huskies Finish Regular Season 9-1 after 59-14 Win over LEC

HOUGHTON, Mich. — For just the fourth time in the 92-year history of the program, Michigan Tech has nine wins. The No. 20-ranked Huskies built up a 41-7 halftime lead and cruised to a 59-14 victory over Lake Erie in the regular season finale today.

Tech, which is 9-1 overall, will now await possible selection into the NCAA Playoffs, which will be announced tomorrow (Nov. 16) at 5 p.m. on The first round of the playoffs begin next Saturday (Nov. 22).

Lake Erie came in averaging 33 points and 477 yards of offense. The Storm gained 393 yards but only scored 14 points. A big factor was the Tech's defense limiting LEC to 3-for-15 on third down and 1-for-9 on fourth down.

The Huskies got a turnover on downs on the opening possession, then scored seven plays later as Tyler Scarlett hit Brandon Cowie for a 45-yard strike and a 7-0 lead.

The Storm's Anthony Bilal answered with a 75-yard rush just one minute later to tie the score. Tech added two more scores sandwiched around another LEC turnover on downs. A 63-yard Scarlett-to-Cowie connection made it 14-7 before a seven-yard swing pass to Charlie Leffingwell put Tech up 21-7.

The Huskies' defense then forced a fumble and picked off a pass, leading to 10 more points—a 33-yard Garrett Mead field goal and a two-yard Scarlett run.

The hosts tacked on 10 more points later in the second quarter with a 59-yard Leffingwell run and a 31-yard Mead field goal.

Tech fumbled twice in the early moments of the third quarter, and the Storm cashed in on the second turnover. Bilal scored his NCAA-leading 29th touchdown of the season for a 41-14 score. It was all Huskies after that.

Leffingwell scored his third of the day on the next drive as the offense went 71 yards on seven plays for a 47-14 margin. Tech controlled the clock and the line of scrimmage in the final 20 minutes with rushing touchdowns of three and five yards by Kevin Miller capping the day.

"It was a good team win," said Tech coach Tom Kearly. "We hit the big passes early, then stayed patient with our run game and wore them down at the line of scrimmage.

Defensively, we missed a couple fits and gave up some yards. But that back (Bilal) is special. He can make you miss and really go."

The final total for Tech was 498 yards with 281 on the ground and 217 through the air. Leffingwell gained 145 yards on 18 touchdowns. Scarlett was 10-of-16 for 201 and three TDs. The pair were two of 19 seniors honored prior to the game on Senior Day. The class is responsible for a 29-12 record over the last four years.

Nick Brajak posted a team-high 10 tackles and forced two fumbles for the Tech defense.

Lake Erie (4-7, 3-7 GLIAC) was led by Bilal's 270 yards rushing on 27 carries.

Michigan Tech (9-1 overall, 9-1 GLIAC) finished one game back of Ferris State (11-0, 10-0 GLIAC) for the GLIAC North Division title.  

The Huskies are seeking the second NCAA Playoff berth in school history. The last came in 2004.