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MTU wins second straight

LEBANON, Ill. – The Michigan Tech football team held back McKendree University for a 24-19 non-conference win Saturday afternoon on the road.

The defense had two more interceptions which led to 10 points on the scoreboard.

“It wasn’t a pretty game, but to go on the road for the second week in a row and get a win was huge for our team,” Michigan Tech Head Coach Steve Olson said. “I’m extremely happy to be 2-0 and proud of our players for overcoming some adversity. We had a number of players step up and make some outstanding plays against a good McKendree team to close out the game and get the win.

“On the offensive side of the ball I thought we ran the ball effectively at times and put together some solid drives, especially the one to start the second half. Turnovers are always a big key in any football game in terms of taking care of the football on offense while creating takeaways on the defensive side of the ball. When you are able to do that it gives you the best shot to win and that was the case today. We also had a solid effort on special teams as well, with Evan Gornick connecting on a key field goal in the second half. Overall, there were a lot of positives to take away from this game going into next week’s contest at Saginaw Valley State.”

Tied 7-7, neither side would post points until the Huskies returned to the end zone with just under four minutes to play in the second period. Linebacker Marshael Ryan picked off his first pass of the season at the Bearcat 16-yard line. Defensive back Travis Tidwell deflected the ball up into the air and Ryan was there to grab it. Will Ark scampered to the end zone on the very next play to give the Huskies a 14-7 lead.

The Huskies opened the third quarter with the ball and engineered a textbook 13 play 68-yard drive to make it 21-7. Running back Jared Smith had a key run of 22 yards, and wide receiver Jacob Wenzlick took an end around play to the right and into the end zone for the score. The drive consumed 7:55 off the third quarter clock.

Tech’s second interception of the day helped pushed the lead back out to two possessions late in the fourth quarter. Pullen’s pass over the middle was intercepted by safety Tai Allen and returned 31-yards to the McKendree 23-yard line. Evan Gornick eventually blasted his second field goal of the season through the goal post with 6:10 to go in the contest, making it 24-13.

Ark completed 10 passes for 137 yards while rushing the ball 13 times for 73 yards and one touchdown. Smith added 59 yards on 14 carries.

Travis Tidwell guided the defense with eight tackles, including six solo stops and two pass breakups. Braxton Blackwell and Nate LaJoie followed with six tackles apiece while three additional players notched four tackles each.

The Huskies travel to Saginaw Valley State Saturday for their Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference opener.

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