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Budzien helps NU make history

Jan. 2, 2013

New Year's Day may not have been a banner day for many Lake Country alumni in big-time college bowl games, but at least one former player was celebrating like it was 1949.

Northwestern University won a bowl game for the first time in 64 years, defeating Mississippi State on Tuesday, 34-20. Kicker Jeff Budzien, an Arrowhead product, kicked a pair of first-half field goals (37 and 34 yards) and made good on four extra-points in the rout.

The Wildcats won 10 games in a season for the first time since reaching the Rose Bowl in 1995. NU last won a bowl in the 1949 Rose Bowl, with nine straight losses in the meantime - including each of the past four seasons.

Budzien, a junior, was named the Bakken-Anderson Big Ten Co-Kicker of the Year and was named one of 20 national semifinalists for the Lou Groza Award, given to the nation's best at that position.

Budzien kicked a field goal and four extra points in the 2007 state championship game, when Arrowhead defeated Homestead, 31-7. He was also part of the state runner-up 2008 team.

Other former Arrowhead players were not so fortunate. Drew Meyer and Derek Landisch, both recent alums, played with the Wisconsin team that fell in the Rose Bowl to Stanford, 20-14. The Badgers' roster also includes former Pewaukee standout Derek Watt.

Former Arrowhead lineman Jared Volk, now starting on the offensive line for Northern Illinois, was also on the losing end against Florida State in the Orange Bowl, 31-10.

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