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Football Heads to Upper Peninsula for Matchup at Northern Michigan

SOUTHFIELD, Michigan – The Lawrence Technological University football program looks to bounce back after its first loss of the reboot season, as the Blue Devils travel to Marquette, Michigan, to tangle with the Wildcats of Northern Michigan on Saturday, October 20. Kickoff from the Superior Dome is set for 1 pm.

Last time out, LTU stumbled in its homecoming game against fellow-first year program Indiana Wesleyan, 38-24. The Blue Devils held a 17-16 advantage in the third quarter, but 22-straight points and some costly turnovers by Lawrence Tech proved too much to overcome.

Wide Receiver Terrel Cunningham (FR/Northsville, MI) was a stand out on the offensive side of the ball in the effort, though, hauling in 10 passes for 149 yards and a touchdown. Cunningham is the first Blue Devil of the modern era to record double-digit receptions and more than 100 yards in a game.

Linebacker Tommy Lappin and defensive back Andrew Campbell (FR/Traverse City, MI) filled the stat sheet against IWU a week ago. Lappin became the first player in the reboot season to notch double-digit tackles, making a game-high 12 stops – 4.5 of which were for loss. Campbell, who led the team earlier in the season in pass breakups, finished the day with two interceptions – his first two of the year.

Lawrence Tech's defense surrendered its first touchdown on the ground this year in game six of the campaign. The Blue Devils (5-1) held ball carriers out of the endzone for 5 hours-29 minutes-08 seconds before Indiana Wesleyan's Amaun Clark scampered across the goal line from 11 yards.

Defensive back Cam Mitchell (FR/Mount Clemens, MI) joined the block party this season, knocking down a PAT attempt last week. The attempt was recovered and return, but a penalty wiped out the try. Against Eastern Michigan on September 22, linebacker Danny Macks broke through the Eagles' line to block a punt that Wallace Tagata (FR/Oxnard, CA) jumped on in the endzone.

The trip to Marquette acts as a homecoming of sorts for head coach Jeff Duvendeck, as he served on staff for NMU from 2006-09 – acting as the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach. Under his direction, the Wildcats averaged 415.7 yards per game and 28.2 points per game in 2007, and 31.6 points per game in 2009 - an improvement of 8.5 points per game over his tenure. NMU's rushing attack improved by 64 yards per game and third down conversions improved from 33-percent to 44-percent. Prior to Northern Michigan, Duvendeck was on staff with Michigan Tech also located in the Upper Peninsula.

Northern Michigan enters the contest 1-6 on the season and winless in GLIAC play. The lone win for the Wildcats came in week two on Sept. 8 against UT Permian Basin, 27-22. NMU is currently on a five game losing skid, getting outscored this season 226-152.

Sophomore quarterback Latrell Giles leads Northern Michigan with 810 yards through the air and two passing scores. The majority of the Wildcats offense has come from the run game, led by senior running back Jake Mayon who has tallied 916 yards on the ground already, averaging 5.4 yards per touch. Mayon has gone for 8 touchdowns and is averaging 130.9 yards per game. Defensively, it has been sophomore safety Brady Hanson all over the field, recording 61 tackle. The lone interception by te NMU secondary has come by Troy Mayon who is second on the team in tackles with 51.

Mayon is quickly approaching the school record for rushing yards in a career with 3,549 yards and is just 176 yards away from the school record. Two weeks ago against Northwood, Mayon carried it 32 times for a career-high 256 rushing yards and two touchdowns.

Before becoming a Division II program in the GLIAC, Northern Michigan spent time as a successful NAIA program having made the NAIA Football Playoffs twice in the 1960s and receiving numerous NAIA All-American honors.

Saturday's contest will be streamed by Northern Michigan and a link can be found below.