Character is a big part of being a college football player. It's integral to a team's success.
On Saturday afternoon, the MSU-Northern Lights showed just how much character they have.
Northern suffered a major setback in last weekend's loss to UM-Western on the road. In fact, the Lights had been on the road for so long, they probably forgot what Blue Pony Stadium looked like.
And a loss, like the one at Western, which followed a tough loss three weeks ago at Carroll College could always be damaging to a team. Throw in the fact that the Western loss gave MSU-N three on the right side of the standings, which is usually the watershed mark that keeps teams out of the NAIA playoffs, and the Lights had every reason to hang their heads.
But they did just the opposite.
Northern stormed out of gates against Tech. The Lights proved they had plenty left in the tank, they proved they were still motivated and they proved this season is far from concluded.
The extra effort of a blocked punt by Will Andrews, the constant pressure on Tech quarterbacks by Northern's defense ends, and the hard running of guys like Stephen Silva, James Chandless, Orin Johnson and Derek Lear, taking on big hits was just a few of the many character moments the Lights showed on Saturday afternoon.
I know it's never easy to come back from a loss. It's not easy to get back up and go to practice the next day, especially when the chips are even a little bit down. But the Lights did all of that and more against Tech.
"I was really proud of our effort in this game," Northern head coach Mark Samson said. "The kids came ready to play and we played hard for 60 minutes. From top to bottom, this was a really good effort by our kids. We just had a lot of kids playing really hard on both sides of the ball today, and I'm really proud of all of them."
The Lights showed not only character, but they also showed the heart of a champion, they showed resiliency and they showed they have great leadership, from the coaching staff all the way down to the freshmen.
Northern also showed a lot of pride Saturday and that's something we've come to expect from the Lights. They love playing the game of football and they love playing at home.
Well done Northern. Way to bounce back.