spring game box score

It wasn’t quite the hard-nosed GLIAC football in the Superior Dome on Saturday, April 18 that fans have come accustomed to, but fans were still able to see quite the show in the Northern Michigan University Spring football game. The Green squad came away with the win 57-33.

Traditional scoring happened when Quintez Jones connected with Josh Hafner for a 61-yard touchdown strike with eight minutes to go in the first.

“I saw the one-on-one up top and I felt my receiver could make the play, so I gave him the shot,” Jones said.

Shaye Brown responded in the quarterback battle with a 23-yard floater through double coverage to Julian Krum. Brown added another touchdown in the fourth when Trey Hipke grabbed a 20-yard corner route for the six.

Brown ended up with an unofficial statline of 12 of 18 passing with two touchdowns while Jones completed six of 10 with a touchdown and an interception.

“I think everyone did their job today from the wide receivers to the offensive line,” Brown said.

The QB battle highlighted the game, but head coach Chris Ostrowsky said that both players impressed him.

“I think (Brown) continues to impress,” Ostrowsky said. “As he progresses and grows up a little bit as a football player, its exciting to be around.

Jaranta Lewis – who was the third-string quarterback last season – lined up as a wide receiver and caught all three balls thrown his way. Ostrowsky said that Lewis will be part of the wide receiving corps next season.

“I think hes an outstanding athlete and you got to use your talent accordingly,” Ostrowsky said. “We have a lot of quarterbacks that are playing different positions now.”

Some of the rules were changed with kickoffs whistled short, a running clock and an augmented scoring system. Both sides of the ball got different levels of points for first downs, sacks, turnovers, tackles for loss or “explosive” offensive plays of a certain length.

Some small changes like Lewis lining up in the slot or Brown receiving the snap under center got the fans talking.

“I dont think there’s any question that we have an identity on offense, but were definitely looking to tweak some things as we move forward because you have to,” Ostrowsky said.

True freshman Jordan Johnson shined in his appearance, breaking out for multiple rushes of 10+ yards and a touchdown. Another freshman Julian Munday also got decent amount of carries, but injured his ankle in the first half and did not return.

Some of the rules were changed with kickoffs whistled short, a running clock and an augmented scoring system. Both sides of the ball got different levels of points for first downs, sacks, turnovers, tackles for loss or “explosive” offensive plays of a certain length.

Despite the scoring, Ostrowsky liked what he saw on the defense.

“They were physical, they ran to the football, they made some plays late to force field goals and I expect their progression to continue,” he said.

Laquan Middleton shined on defense as the defensive back picked off Jones in the second quarter and a nice return of 12 yards. He also deflected a couple passes.

Kicking game was reliable for Ryan LaBerge, but faced little to no rush. He went 3 for 3 in PAT attempts and hit both field goals of 25 and 34 yards.

Fan contests for farthest pass and punt allowed the winners to get in on the action. The punt winner stared down the defensive rush to nail the Green team inside the 20 with a 45-yard punt, the passing winner completed a six-yard out route to Marcus Tucker for a first down and the place kicking winner missed his extra point attempt.

The biggest fan experience came on the last play of the game when Austin Martysz came in as a tailback. Brown handed the local child with Down Syndrome the ball as players formed a return wall along the visitors’ sideline for the 52-yard touchdown.

“Austin is a wonderful kid who comes from a phenomenal family and to see him score, to see how our players got excited in the process, I think it was a great day all the way around,” Ostrowsky said. “To see our local fans come and be a part of (the program), it was pretty cool.”

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