ALLENDALE, Mich. - The Saginaw Valley State University football team was defeated today by Grand Valley State University 49-24 in the regular season finale at Lubbers Stadium. The Cardinals fall to 7-3 with the loss while the Lakers improve to 8-3 overall on the campaign and 7-3 in conference.
The Lakers took an early 7-0 after Hersey Jackson found a crease from three yards out. The Cardinals would respond on the ensuing possession with a three-play drive that was capped off by a Jonathon Jennings (Columbus, Ohio/Westerville South HS) 60-yard touchdown run down the SVSU sideline.
The Lakers would go back on top 14-7 after a Micheal Ratay found the endzone from three yards out. GVSU would push their advantage to 21-7 on a five yard touchdown catch by Charles Johnson with 11:55 left in the first half.
With Grand Valley driving late in the first half the Cardinals came up with a blocked field goal to give SVSU the ball on the 20-yard line with 39 seconds left in the first half. The Cardinal offense would move the ball down the fieldbehind the arm of Jennings who would find Jeff Janis just inside the goal line on a 30-yard pass to cut the Lakers advantage to 21-14 as time expired in the half. Janis finished the contest with eight catches for 94 yards and a touchdown.
SVSU would get the ball to start the second half and marched down for a 28-yard field goal to bring the Cardinals to within four points at 21-17. Grand Valley would add another touchdown to extend its lead to 28-17 as the third quarter was coming to a close.
Tim Hogue (Inkster, Mich.) would take the ensuing kickoff 90-yards to close out the third quarter and give the Cardinals the the ball inside the Laker 10-yard line. Hogue would earn Meijer "Player of the Game" honors as he finished with 101 all-purpose yards for SVSU.
Saginaw Valley would find the endzone to open the final quarter as Jennings connected with Zach Cecich (Crown Point, Ind.) on a leaping one-yard touchdown pass in the corner to put the Cardinals within four at 28-24.
However, the Lakers would return the ensuing kickoff 100 yards as Erik Thompson pushed the lead back up to 35-24 in favor of Grand Valley.
The Cardinals failed to gain momentum in the fourth quarter and Grand Valley scored two more touchdowns to make the final score 49-24.
The Cardinal defense was lead by Jeff Heath (Lake Orion, Mich.) who had 12 tackles while senior Darius Middlebrooks (Indianapolis, Ind./Indiana State University) recorded 11 tackles in the loss. Senior Brandon Williams (Flint, Mich./Kearsley HS) and Murphy Wilson (Saginaw, Mich./Nouvel Catholic Central HS) each posted eight tackles on the evening.
Saginaw Valley will wait to see if they get a bid to the 2011 NCAA Division II Playoffs which will be announced Sunday at 5 p.m. on NCAA.com.