Scarlett scores winning Tech TD in double OT
HILLSDALE, Mich. – Tyler Scarlett accounted for four scores including a pair of touchdown rushes after regulation to lift Michigan Tech to a 30-27 double overtime victory at Hillsdale Saturday. After the Chargers kicked a field goal on their possession in the second overtime, Scarlett converted a third-and-two by keeping the ball on an option for the game-winning points.
The dramatic win – Tech’s second on the game’s final play this season -improved the Huskies’ record to 5-4 both overall and in the GLIAC. Hillsdale fell to 4-6 overall and 4-4 in the league.
Tech limited the Chargers to just seven first-half points and held a 17-7 advantage with five minutes to play in regulation. Hillsdale began its comeback with a 90-yard drive, converting two fourth downs along the way.
After a failed Hillsdale on-side kick attempt, the Huskies were forced to punt. Tech punter Jordan Ledvina pinned the hosts at their 10 for a second straight time with 2:09 to go, but HC drove 72 yards and tied the game on a 35-yard field goal.
Tech tried to drive in the final minute of regulation, but ran out of time, sending the game to overtime tied at 17.
The Huskies took possession in the first overtime and scored in four plays. An 18-yard pass from Scarlett to Brandon Cowie on first-and-10 from the 25 set up the eventual TD run by Scarlett, a quarterback sneak.
Hillsdale was put into a fourth-and-eight on its possession in the first overtime, but converted and scored on the next play to send the game to a second OT.
The Tech defense held Hillsdale to a 36-yard field goal in the second extra session. The Huskies then drove from the 25 to the four-yard line for a third-and-two play. Scarlett kept the ball on an option to the right to give Michigan Tech its first win in Hillsdale since 1999.
“The momentum in this game had big sways both ways, but I’m most proud of how the team handled the adversity,” said Tech coach Tom Kearly. “They came back on us and converted some fourth downs. We were able to make the plays we needed in overtime to get the win.”
Scarlett’s day included a 20-for-33 performance passing for 240 yards and one touchdown. He rushed for 21 more yards and three scores.
Scarlett, a junior, has tied the school record for career touchdown passes with 59. He needs 102 more yards to break the career passing yards mark.
Charlie Leffingwell had perhaps just as an impressive game with 179 yards on 25 carries (7.2 average). His 12-yard run in the second overtime set up the game winning score.
Kicker Garrett Mead tied the school record for field goals in a season with a 21-yard kick in the second quarter.
In all, Hillsdale held slight edges in total yards (463-457) and time of possession (31:19-28:41). The Huskies converted 7-of-16 third downs compared to 5-of-18 for HC. The final third-down conversion proved to be the difference.
Michigan Tech will now try complete its fourth straight winning campaign in the season finale vs. Wayne State on Saturday. Kickoff at Sherman Field is set for 1 p.m.