UNIVERSITY CENTER, Mich. – A last second field goal attempt by Saginaw Valley State University fell just short as the Cardinals dropped a 29-27 decision to the University of Findlay Saturday (Sept. 15) evening on Hall of Fame Weekend at Wickes Stadium.
The Oilers (2-0, 2-0 GLIAC) jumped ahead early, scoring on their first possession as Findlay's Clay Belton found Jaryd Brown in the endzone on a 28-yard pass. The Cardinals (2-1, 1-1 GLIAC) would respond on their ensuing possession, marching 75 yards on 11 plays. Meijer "Player of the Game" Tim Hogue (Inkster, Mich.) would cap off the drive with a two-yard touchdown run. Hogue finished the evening with 119 yards on 16 attempts with two touchdowns.
Findlay would find the endzone once more in the first half, giving them a 13-7 advantage over the Cardinals at the break.
Saginaw Valley came out strong in the second half, scoring on their first possession when junior Jonathon Jennings (Columbus, Ohio / Westerville South HS) found an open Michael Albrecht (Midland, Mich.) from three yards out to give the Cardinals their first lead of the game. Jennings would end the game, 22-of-32 for 294 yards and two touchdowns.
Findlay would then score back-to-back touchdowns giving them a 26-14 advantage early in the fourth quarter.
A key 35-yard catch by senior tight end Zach Cecich (Crown Point, Ind.) on third down would set the table for Jennings to hit Jeff Janis (Tawas, Mich.) on a 43-yard touchdown strike. The score would bring Saginaw Valley within five points of the Oilers, 26-21. Janis would finish the game with seven catches for 131 yards and a score.
Findlay would attempt a field goal midway through the fourth quarter, which was blocked by David Toussaint (Lauderdale Lakes, Fla. / Boyd H. Anderson HS) to give the Cardinals possession with just over six minutes to play. Saginaw Valley would then put together a 94 yard drive to take the lead, 27-26, on a 34-yard Hogue run.
The Oilers took the final lead of the ball game when Findlay's Seth White connected on a 25-yard field goal with 11 seconds left.
SVSU would get the ball back with a chance to win the game with just under :10 to play. Jennings would connect on a 38-yard pass to Mark Thrash (Wyoming, Mich./Park HS) to set up a Scott Stanford (Novi, Mich.) 54-yard field goal attempt, which barley missed, giving Findlay the 29-27 win.
Defensively, senior Grant Caserta (Holland, Mich. / West Ottawa HS) led the team with 16 tackles while Brian Johnson (Muskegon, Mich. / Muskegon Catholic Central HS) charted 14 with a tackle for a loss.
Saginaw Valley State University will return to action next Saturday (Sept. 22) as they travel to Lake Erie for a GLIAC match-up. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 PM.