Cats clipped by ‘Cuse at Carrier

Matt Forman

After jumping out to an early lead in each of its first two games, Northwestern fell behind 17-0 against Syracuse on Saturday.

The Wildcats (2-1) scored 21 unanswered points in the second quarter, before going into halftime down 24-21. The teams traded points possession-by-possession in the second half. Senior quarterback Mike Kafka (top) threw for a career-high 390 yards and broke a school record with 16 straight completions, but was intercepted with less than a minute left in the contest.

Six plays and 16 yards later, Syracuse (1-2) kicker Ryan Lichtenstein booted a game-winning 41-yard field goal, giving the Orange a 37-34 victory. Four starters did not play due to injury in the game, pinning the Cats’ backs against the wall. NU struggled to defend Syracuse quarterback and former Duke basketball point guard Greg Paulus, who completed 24-of-35 passes for 346 yards and two touchdowns.

Prior to the loss, coach Pat Fitzgerald’s squad was 19-5 in its previous 25 games decided by seven points or less. Senior safety Brad Phillips (bottom right) intercepted Paulus late in the second quarter. Senior wide receiver Zeke Markshausen (bottom left) caught nine passes for 86 yards.