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Cardinals Bring Back Axe in 35th Annual Game

MIDLAND, Mich. – Saginaw Valley State University got back to it winning ways against GLIAC rival Northwood on Saturday (Sept. 20) in a 46-45 Axe Bowl thriller. SVSU reclaims the Axe after two season of being turned away by the Timberwolves.

Things started out rocky for the Cardinals after falling behind 17-0 in the first quarter. A Dan Stiefel (Emmett, Mich. / Sterling Heights Stevenson HS) pass complete to Carl Grimes (Detroit, Mich.) for 40 yards set up a 36 yard field goal for Jeremy Burr (Saginaw, Mich./Swan Valley), which was the start of a 17-straight-point offensive output for the Cardinals.

In second quarter the Cardinals would get their first receiving touchdown of the year when Galen Stone (Grand Blanc, Mich. / Swartz Creek HS) would grab a 21 yard Stiefel pass across the middle and take it in for the score. Stiefel would connect with Brandon Emeott on the Cardinals next drive for a 19 yard screen pass to the left side for touchdown. A 38 yard Burr field goal as time expired on the first half sent the Cardinals to the locker room down 24-20.

Saginaw Valley would use an 11 play 68 yard drive to open the third quarter to take their first lead of the game 27-24 after a Brandon Williams (Flint, Mich. / Kearsley HS) one yard plunge into the end zone. Emeott would find pay dirt on a two yard run giving the Cardinals a 33-31 lead late in the third quarter. The turning point defensively came in the second half came when John Jacobs (Prudenville, Mich./Midland Dow) picked off the Northwood quarterback at the Saginaw Valley 28 yard line with the Timeberwolves marching. On the very next series Jacobs would come up with another huge play as he recovered a fumble that would set up an Emeott 16 yard touchdown scamper to put the Cardinals up 39-37. Late in the fourth quarter when Stiefel and Grimes would connect on another big play, this time for a 27 yard touchdown that would give the Cardinals a 46-45 lead, a lead that the defense would close out.

Stiefel would finish the afternoon 27-for-44 for 404 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. Emeott paced the Cardinals on the ground with 86 yards on 17 carries. Grimes hauled in seven catches for 162 yards and touchdown, while fellow receiver Mike Meade (Elk Hart, Ind.) caught nine passes for 106 yards.

The Cardinals defense was lead by Jacobs who had 15 tackles to go along with his interception and fumble recovery. Senior Mike LeVand (Grandville, Mich. / Grandville HS) had 13 tackles and one pass break-up and Matt Black (Toronto, Ont. / Northern Secondary School) chipped in with eight tackles and one forced fumble.

Saginaw Valley moves to 2-1 on the season, 2-1 in the GLIAC, while Northwood falls to 0-3 on the season, 0-3 in the GLIAC. SVSU will return to action next weekend (Sept. 27) to host Indianapolis in a Homecoming showdown.