#24 Cardinals Slay Dragons, 40-21

Xavier Walker scored three touchdowns against the Dragons
Xavier Walker scored three touchdowns against the Dragons

TIFFIN, Ohio – The #24 Saginaw Valley State University football team captured its fifth victory of the 2009 season, as they traveled to Tiffin, Ohio and defeated Tiffin University Dragons, 40-21.

The Saginaw Valley offense was explosive in the second quarter, as quarterback Chuck Dowdell (Ft. Wayne, Ind./Indiana State) found Nick Gallina (Troy, Mich.) on a 14-yard touchdown pass to begin the rally for the Cardinals. Saginaw Vallley would not let up as Brandon Hayes (Saginaw, Mich. / Swan Valley HS) found the end zone on a 12-yard rush with 4:14 remaining in the half. Less than two minutes later, Xavier Walker (Bridgewater, N.J./Raritan HS) gave SVSU another touchdown on a one-yard plunge. Tiffin would score its first points as time expired in the first half, to make the score 20-7.

Tiffin continued to chip away at the Cardinal lead as they added their second touchdown of the game early in the third quarter to cut the lead to six. Saginaw Valley would respond, as Dowdell once again found Gallina in the end zone on a 24-yard touchdown pass. The Cardinals would continue their scoring as Walker once again found the end zone from five yards out to give the Cardinals the 33-14 lead.

Linebacker Mike LeVand (Grandville, Mich.) picked up two sacks within two minutes to give the Dragons a net loss of 17 yards. Tiffin would add another touchdown on an 11-yard pass, however this would end the Dragon scoring for the afternoon. Walker would pick-up his third and final touchdown for Saginaw Valley on a nine-yard rush with 1:57 left in the contest to finalize the victory, 40-21.

LeVand led the Cardinals with a game-high 12 tackles, one fumble recovery and 2.5 sacks. John Jacobs (Prudenville, Mich. / Midland Dow HS) picked up nine tackles, one fumble recovery for 30 yards, and also picked-off two Dragon passes while Bryan Klobucar (Hudsonville, Mich.) added two sacks for a loss of 15 yards and also forced a fumble. As a team, Saginaw Valley recorded seven sacks, four interceptions and forced two fumbles.

With the victory, Saginaw Valley moves to 5-2 overall on the season with a 4-2 mark in the GLIAC while Tiffin falls to 0-7 overall and 0-6 in the GLIAC. The Cardinals will return to action next Saturday (Oct. 17) as they host Ashland University in a conference match-up. Kickoff is set for noon at Wickes Stadium.