PAINESVILLE, Ohio - The Saginaw Valley State University football team hit the road for the second consecutive week against a GLIAC South opponent, taking-on the Lake Erie Storm on Saturday (10/18). After holding a narrow halftime lead, the Cardinals couldn't get on the board in the second half and the Storm had a score to escape with a 24-21 victory.
Lake Erie got on the board first in the contest when it scored at the 12:21 marker on a 12 yard TD pass play to take the lead at 7-0 after a good PAT.
The Cardinals would respond on the very next drive, putting together an eight play, 62 yard scoring drive that was capped-off with a 21 yard touchdown pass from Tyler Palka to Andrew Dillon. It was Palka's first-career collegiate TD pass. A Scott Stanford extra-point made it 7-7 with 8:29 left on the clock in the first half.
After SVSU forced a punt, the Cards lit the board once again. On the fourth play of the drive, Allante Gardner scampered in from 31 yards out at the 6:00 mark to make the score 14-7 after another successful point after.
After the teams traded turnovers, the Storm got possession at the SVSU 27. The Cards held the home team to a field goal and maintained the lead at 14-10.
Lake Erie would take advantage of another Saginaw Valley turnover with a TD run with 8:39 left in the first half. That score gave the Storm the lead at 17-14.
The ensuing kickoff would see SV running back David Nay take it back 97 yards to the house and regain the lead for the Cardinals at 21-17.
That is what the score would remain with both teams heading into the halftime break.
On SVSU's third drive of the third quarter, the visitors had the ball on the Lake Erie one yardline with a first and goal. A fumble on a hand-off exchange was recovered by the Storm and they would take over from their own one.
On the third play, Lake Erie running back Anthony Bilal broke through the defense and scored on a 67 yard rushing play. With a good PAT, the Storm took the lead at 24-21.
The teams would trade possessions until SV got the ball back with 2:42 left to play. The Cards drove the ball and were facing a fourth and 17 from the Lake Erie 27. It set up a 45 yard field goal attempt for the tie from Stanford. His kick would miss to the left, giving the Storm the ball back with just 52 ticks left on the clock.
Lake Erie would kneel the clock out from there and seal the 24-21 victory.
The Storm won the turnover battle, committing two turnovers while scoring 17 of their points coming off of SVSU's four mis-haps.
Palka had 110 yards on the ground on 10 rushes, also throwing for 80 yards and a score.
Nay had 47 yards rushing and had the big 97 yard kickoff return, earning him Meijer "Player of the Game" honors.
Gardner rushed for 59 yards and the score while Dillon had six catches for 84 yards and a TD.
Matt Mckoy had 10 tackles to lead both teams while Will Schwarz and Bryan Jones each had eight stops for the Cardinals. SVSU had eight sacks on the afternoon as well, with seven different players getting in on the action.
With the loss, Saginaw Valley falls to 1-6 overall and 1-5 in the GLIAC. Lake Erie improves to 3-4 overall and 2-4 in league play.
The Cardinals host Northwood University (4-3, 3-3 GLIAC) in a homecoming matchup on Saturday (10/25). Kickoff is set for 7:00 pm at SVSU's Wickes Stadium.