UNIVERSITY CENTER, Mich. - The Saginaw Valley State University football team picked up an important Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) win today (Oct. 31), 24-16 over the University of Findlay. Both teams were tied for second place in the GLIAC and ranked inside the top eight in the NCAA Division II Regional Ranking this past week.
Sophomore kicker Austin Borchard (San Juan Capistrano, Calif./San Clemente HS) got the Cardinals on the board first with a 35-yard field goal with 1:34 left in the first quarter. The Oilers would take the lead with just 17 seconds left in the half as Dustin Zielaskiewicz caught a pass from Andrew Beam to make the score 7-3 heading into the locker room.
Saginaw Valley would go back on top in the second half when junior quarterback Chuck Dowdell (Fort Wayne, Ind. / Indiana State) rushed the ball from three yards out. Findlay would knot the score at 10, when Cameron Stevens kicked a field goal from 40 yards out. With under three minutes left in the third quarter Xavier Walker (Bridgewater, N.J./Raritan HS) found paydirt on an eight yard rush to give the Cardinals a 17-10 advantage.
Saginaw Valley increased their lead to 14 as Dowdell rushed for his second touchdown of the afternoon, this time from ten yards out. The Oilers fight back, as Mike Chambers completed a one yard pass to Zielaskiewicz to cut the Cardinal lead to eight. Findlay would attempt an onside kick which was recovered by Saginaw Valley, who ran the clock down to 1:11 left in the game. The Oilers moved the ball down the field as Beam attempted a number of tried into the endzone, however all the attempts were unsuccesful as time expired to give the Cardinal a 24-16 victory.
The defense was lead by senior John Jacobs (Prudenville, Mich./Midland Dow HS) who had 14 tackles, three pass break ups, and 1.5 tackles for a loss of two yards. Jacobs was honored at halftime of the game as the Ryder "Male" Athlete of the Year for 2008-09 and was also named the Meijer player of the game. Mike LeVand (Grandville, Mich./Grandville HS) added 13 tackles, and one pass break up, while Carlton Downs (Detroit, Mich./Denby HS) tallied eight tackles and also had two pass break ups.
With the win Saginaw Valley improves to 8-2 overall on the season and 7-2 in the GLIAC, while Findlay falls to 7-3 overall on the season and 6-3 in the GLIAC. The Cardinals will return to action Saturday (Nov. 7) when they will host Ferris State for their final regular season game. Kickoff is slated for noon.