NMU football: Thomas joins Scepaniak on IR, Brown to start Saturday at QB

MARQUETTE – Northern Michigan University head football coach Chris Ostrowsky said he will start true freshman quarterback Shaye Brown on Saturday night at Grand Valley State after losing a second QB to a season-ending injury over the weekend.

Junior QB Dustin Thomas broke his right wrist during the first quarter of Saturday’s 31-7 loss at Michigan Tech in the Miner’s Cup game. Thomas was seen Wednesday on the sidelines during practice with a hard cast on his throwing arm.

Thomas took over at QB in a Week 3 loss at Ashland, 52-24, when senior Cody Scepaniak left the game in the second quarter with an injured right leg. He was also on the sidelines Wednesday, though with crutches and a soft cast on his right leg.

Brown, who was originally supposed to redshirt this season, finished 5 of 12 passing on Saturday for 37 yards and an interception in his first collegiate action. In his one credited carry, he was sacked for a loss 11 yards.

Brown is a native of downstate Fenton and was a two-time letter winner at Linden High School where he was named all-state, all-area and all-league.

Scepaniak led the GLIAC in passing before he was lost for the season with 735 yards passing, three touchdowns and three interceptions.

Thomas – who is also in his first season at NMU after transferring in over the spring from Villanova – compiled 388 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions in three games with the 27-17 Week 4 loss at home to Hillsdale being his only complete game.

The Wildcats lost a starting quarterback last season against Tech when redshirt freshman Ryan Morley was knocked out of the game with a concussion. He’s receiving another redshirt this season after having offseason shoulder surgery.

Former Escanaba High School quarterback Austin Young is the Wildcats “emergency” quarterback, according to Ostrowsky. Young hasn’t taken snaps as a QB at NMU until this week after practicing and playing as a running back and wide receiver the past two seasons.

Kickoff Saturday between the Lakers (4-2 overall, 2-2 in GLIAC) and Wildcats (1-4 overall, 1-4 in GLIAC) is scheduled for 7 p.m. in Allendale.