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#23 Cardinals Defeat Timberwolves, 32-27

#23 Cardinals Defeat Timberwolves, 32-27

UNIVERSITY CENTER, Mich. – The Saginaw Valley State University football team claimed the 36th annual “Axe Bowl” trophy with a 32-27 victory over Northwood University today (Sept. 19).

The scoring started early in the contest as Northwood quarterback Spencer Klukowski found wide receiver Michael Gillmore on a 34 yard touchdown pass to give the Timberwolves a seven point lead three minutes into the game. The Cardinals would even up the score when junior running back Xavier Walker (Bridgewater, N.J. / Raritan HS (Moorpark College) rushed into the end zone from one yard out to knot the game at 7-7.

Early in the second quarter, Klukowski would give Northwood the lead back with a one-yard touchdown run. The Cardinals would again quickly respond as Walker scored his second touchdown of the game on a two-yard run to tie the score at 14. Linebacker Grant Caserta (Holland, Mich. / West Ottowa HS) would intercept a Klukowski pass and return the ball 29 yards to setup a Brandon Hayes (Saginaw, Mich. / Swan Valley HS) one-yard plunge to gave the Cardinals its first lead of the game. With six seconds left in the half, Northwood would find great field position on a botched squib kick to setup a 28-yard pass desperation pass for a touchdown to go up 21-20 at the half.

After a back-and-forth first half, Caserta would recover a fumble to give the Cardinals the ball and Hayes would score his second touchdown of the game on a six-yard run to give the Cardinals 26-21 lead. Northwood would add a touchdown to take the lead right back, 27-26 to end the third quarter. Walker would find the end zone for the third time of the game on a three-yard game-winning run to seal the victory for the Cardinals.

John Jacobs who racked up 15 tackles for the Cardinals and Mike LeVand with 13 tackles and two sacks led the Saginaw Valley defense. Matt Peterson, Jordan Barley and Caserta would all chip in seven tackles as well. Caserta added his first career inception and fumble recovery in the victory.

With the win the Cardinals move to 3-1 overall on the season and 2-1 in the GLIAC while Northwood falls to 2-1 overall on the season and 2-1 in the GLIAC. The Cardinals will return to action on September 26 when they travel to Indianapolis for a GLIAC matchup at 6:00 p.m.