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Tech posts 62-0 shutout at NMU to win 13th-straight Miner’s Cup

Tech posts 62-0 shutout at NMU to win 13th-straight Miner’s Cup

MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Michigan Tech football team scored early and often to secure its 13th-straight Miner's Cup win with a 62-0 victory over Northern Michigan at the Superior Dome on Saturday night.

"I felt like we got some good pressure on the quarterback so he had to get rid of the football in a hurry and that was our goal heading into the game," head coach Dan Mettlach said. "We didn't have many drives where we came away empty and I thought that Fries played well and made some plays with his feet and Darius obviously did what Darius does."

The win marks the highest-scoring victory in the history of the rivalry, with the previous highest-scoring win coming back in 1961 when Northern Michigan won 61-6. Not to be overshadowed, the 62-0 thumping marks the 50th win in series history.

Michigan Tech moves back into the win column with an overall record of 4-2 and with a 1-2 mark in the GLIAC. Northern Michigan remains winless with a ledger of 0-7 overall and 0-3 in GLIAC play. 

The Huskies got on the scoreboard in a hurry, rattling three scores in the first quarter to take a 17-0 advantage. 

Quarterback Alex Fries found wide receiver Darius Willis twice in the opening drive for 32 yards, then 23 yards before running back William Marano found the endzone off a three-yard run to open the scoring. 

Northern struggled offensively as first year quarterback Aiden Hoard made his first career start, finishing 19-of-31 for 131 yards passing and two interceptions.

Fries would connect with Willis moments later after starting the second drive on the Wildcats nine-yard line following a bad snap from Northern Michigan.

Fries found Willis for a 14-yard touchdown less than two minutes after the night's first touchdown. 

The Huskies closed out the first quarter with a 30-yard field goal from Drew Wyble

Following the first punt of the day for the Black & Gold, the Huskies looked to Willis twice, for catches of 17 yards and 46 yards before Marano found the endzone on a 12-yard rushing touchdown to make it 24-0 with 2:28 remaining in the first half.

Northern Michigan had a chance to conclude the first half with the ball. However, Dante Basanese would record his second interception of the season to allow the Huskies another scoring opportunity to close out the half. 

Fries used his legs to gain 19 yards and get out of bounds before recording a four-yard run touchdown, with the extra point showing Tech ahead 31-0 before entering halftime. 

Out of the break, the Huskies poured on 18 plays for 140 yards of offense to score 24 points in the third quarter.

Following a Wildcat three and out, Michigan Tech paced 60 yards in four plays with a 25-yard run by Fries resulting in a touchdown. 

The offensive woes for the 'Cats would continue, with Hoard fumbling on the drive's first play. 

With a short field once again, Michigan Tech would make quick work with Fries once again finding Willis in the end zone for his second touchdown catch of the day. 

The Black & Gold's defense proved too much for NMU, with Hunter Buechel earning a scoop and score to make it 52-0 with 9:25 remaining in the third quarter. 

The Huskies scoring frenzy would subside for a few minutes before Wyble connected on a 39-yard field goal to give Michigan Tech a 55-0 lead with under three minutes left in Q3.

Quarterback Joe Hartlieb would earn playing time for Tech in the fourth quarter, going 8-of-13 for 92 yards and a long of 32 yards to Ethan Martysz.

In true Michigan Tech fashion, the Huskies earn an interception compliments to Jeffery Price, marking his first interception of his career on the final Wildcat drive starting at 4:25.

With less than a minute remaining in the contest, Jake Rueff would score the final touchdown on a three-yard rush through the middle to solidify the 62-0 win.

Fries orchestrated the offense for 240 yards, going 15-of-21 for two touchdown passes, paired with 74 yards on the ground for two touchdowns. The Huskies totaled almost 500 yards of offense, with 332 yards passing and 161 yards rushing.

Willis erupted for a season-high 202 yards on 10 receptions for two touchdowns.

Marano led the Huskies on the ground with 77 yards on 15 carries.

The Huskies held Northern Michigan to just 85 yards of total offense, with Buechel posting a team-leading six tackles with Porter Zeeman and Owen Watson garnering five apiece.  

Up Next

The Huskies return to Kearly Stadium for the first time this month, welcoming the two-time defending national champions in Ferris State on Saturday, Oct. 21, slated for a 1 p.m. kickoff.