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Cardinals Start Season with Victory

UNIVERSITY CENTER, Mich. – Saginaw Valley State University’s 2008 football season got off to a great start as the Cardinals pulled out a 23-17 win over GLIAC foe Wayne State on Saturday (Sept. 6). The victory marked the first win for SVSU in the Jim Collins era and the 17th straight win over the Warriors.

Wayne State got on the board first when Joique Bell ran it in from one yard out with 7:20 left in the first. The Cardinals answered right back when Brandon Emeott (Caro, Mich.) answered with his own one yard touchdown with 2:09 left in the first. The Warriors would immediately respond with an 87-yard kick off return by Dante Dunn on the ensuing kickoff.

Freshman running back Ronald Spears (Milan, Mich.) tied the game back up at 14-14 on a five yard run to the right corner. Spears would find pay dirt again before the end of the quarter to give the Cardinals a 20-17 lead going into the half. Spears rushed for 67 yards on 19 carries to lead the Cardinals rushing attack that picked up 166 yards on the ground.

The defenses tightened down in the third as both teams failed to score. The Cardinals and Warrior would exchange punts and turnovers during quarter. John Jacobs (Prudenville, Mich./Midland Dow) lead the Cardinals defense with 12 tackles and a forced fumble. Mike LeVand (Grandville, Mich.) had a solid day with eight tackles and also recovered a fumble on Wayne States opening drive at the Saginaw Valley one yard line that was one of key defensive plays of the game.

Saginaw Valley would take advantage of a Wayne State missed field goal in the fourth and march 58 yards over the next four minutes to extend their lead to 23-17 on a Jeremy Burr (Saginaw, Mich./Swan Valley) 35 yard field goal with 2:02 left in the game. Wayne State marched down the field threatening to score with 23 seconds left but Josh Fulton (Mishawaka, Ind.) sacked Warrior quarterback Mickey Berce on 4th and 9 to seal the Cardinal victory.

Quarterback Dan Stiefel (Emmett, Mich./Sterling Heights Stevenson) connected on 22 of 30 passes for 276 yards and two interceptions. Wide Reciever Galen Stone (Grand Blanc, Mich./Swartz Creek) had nine catches for 113 yards to lead the Cardinals receivers. Running back Brandon Emeott quietly had a game rushing with 14 carries for 66 yards and a TD. The Cardinal will return to action on September 13, when they host Grand Valley at Wickes Stadium.