Northern State redshirt freshman Terrelle Walker made the most of his first career start, racking up 148 yards and two first half touchdowns to lead the Wolves to a 52-20 win over the visiting Minnesota, Crookston Golden Eagles Saturday afternoon in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference football action.
The win moves NSU to 6-4 on the season and secures the Wolves' first winning season since 2005. Now at 5-1 in the NSIC North, the Wolves have one game remaining on the docket and will match up against Minnesota-Duluth next Saturday to play for at least a share of the North Division title.
UMC slipped to 1-9 on the season and 0-6 in the North.
Northern State got off to a rocket start on both sides of the ball, scoring on its first five possessions of the game, including the team's third pick-six of the season. Walker scored from seven yards out on NSU's first possession, while senior Marquis Mulkey - one of 11 NSU seniors honored prior to kick-off - picked off UMC quarterback A.J. Barge and returned it for a touchdown just moments later.
Sophomore quarterback Jared Jacobson, who finished with 210 passing yards and three rushing touchdowns, capped the quarter with a 1-yard quarterback keeper.
NSU was not done there, as Walker took the ball from 38 yards out for his second TD of the day on NSU's first possession of the second quarter to stake the Wolves to a 28-0 lead.
UMC senior Richard Haley interrupted the NSU scoring party with a 56-yard TD run, but the Wolves never looked back. Senior place kicker Felipe Alfaia booted a 29-yard field goal and finished his day going 7-for-7 on PATs. Jacobson scored twice more in the second half while another redshirt freshman in the backfield, Cameron Pudwill, capped the day with a 10-yard touchdown run, giving him 53 yards on the day.
The NSU defense gave the Wolves good field position all day long, forcing the Golden Eagles into five punts and forcing two turnovers and another on downs. UMC was also forced to settle for two field goals, one in each half, and was held to just 268 yards of total offense on the day.
Junior safety Logan Dosch led the Wolves with seven tackles, while senior linebacker John McDowell had six tackles, one for a loss, and a big fumble recovery in the second half. Mulkey was credited with three tackles, one for a loss, an interception and the force on the fumble.
The defense also held the league's second-leading rusher Haley to 125 yards on the ground. UMC's Barge was just 12-for-20 for 91 yards.
NSU has now put together its second three-game win streak of the season, having won six of its last seven after starting the season 0-3. The Wolves will put that streak on the line next weekend at UMD, a 53-14 winner over U-Mary on Saturday. Next weekend's match-up with the No. 9 Bulldogs is set for a 1 p.m. kick-off.
Courtesy: NSU Athletics