Townsend led the charge, running for 174 yards and two TDs on 17 carries. He scampered for 136 and both TDs in the first half, with his second scoring run coming on a 52-yarder to put Northwestern (6-3, 4-3 MIC) up 28-0 with 6:17 to play in the first half.
”We wanted to carry on what Michael does and follow in his footsteps,” Townsend said. “For the seniors, trying to make up for his leadership is tough because he’s one of the most influential people on this team and overall a very good player. We look up to him, and getting through him going to the hospital — it got pretty tough. But, we got through it, and to do it the way we did, it means everything to us. Everything I did [Friday] night was for Plummer. I kept that in the back of my mind every play.”
Fessenden and Wildrick shined, as well. Fessenden ran for 93 yards and three TDs on just seven carries, while Wildrick added 82 yards and a TD on seven carries. Fessenden put the Tigers on the board early with a 65-yard run to paydirt with 5:18 to play in the first quarter. Wildrick’s TD came with 6:36 to play when Eastern had pulled with 41-20 with a passing attack that came to life in the second half.
Northwestern finished with 447 yards rushing on 54 attempts, while hold Eastern (2-7, 1-6 MIC) to 47 yards rushing on 24 attempts.
The Comets’ first drive of the game started at their own 20 before stalling out at the Northwestern 11-yard line with 7:12 to play in the opening quarter. The Tigers rattled off 41 straight points before Eastern got on the board with 4:56 to play in the third on a 43-yard pass from Austin Bates to Will Porter.
Bates finished the night 17-of-32 through the air for 306 yards and three TDs, but 232 of those yards and all three scores came in the second half.