Score: Northwood 21, Saginaw Valley 14
Records: NU (4-4, 4-3 GLIAC) | SVSU (1-7, 1-6 GLIAC)
Location: Hantz Stadium - Midland, Mich.
MIDLAND - The Saginaw Valley State University football team traveled to Midland to compete against rival Northwood University in the 41st-annual installment of the Axe Bowl. The Timberwolves would come out ahead in the contest by a score of 21-14, claiming the Axe back for the first time since 2010.
After a scoreless first quarter, Northwood got on the board and took a 7-0 lead when Jared Briguglio had a two-yard touchdown run at the 13:49 marker of the second quarter and David Knudsen added the extra point.
The Cardinals had an opportunity to take an advantage on their second drive but an Alex Kenrick 34-yard field goal attempt was blocked by the Timberwolves.
That would be the only scoring of the first half, as Northwood held just a narrow 172-131 advantage in offense for the first 30 minutes and the ony turnover was a Matt McKoy interception at the 6:06 mark of the second quarter that stalled an NU drive.
After a three and out from SVSU to begin the second half, Northwood used seven plays and 3:19 of the clock to score another rushing touchdown from Briguglio, this one from four yards out to make the score 14-0 after another Knudsen PAT.
The Timberwolves' next drive would result in a missed field goal that gave the Cards the ball at their own 20 yardline and the visitors would immediately capitalize.
Brad Odeman Jr. found tight end Will Farr streaking down the middle of the field on the very next play and Farr took the pass to find the endzone for the 80-yard TD hook-up. A Kenrick PAT cut the Northwood lead to 14-7.
That score would carry into the end of the third quarter but that's when rain and lightning moved into the area, causing a delay in play. There was a delay just over an hour after a couple strikes of lightning in the area.
After a short possession from SV to begin the fourth frame, Northwood had a 20-yard rushing touchdown from quarterback Mark Morris to make the score 21-7 after another successful point after. The key play on the Timberwolves' drive came on a fourth and nine from their own 45, when Morris lined up in a short punt formation and completed a 26-yard pass on a fake punt.
The Cardinals would respond on the very next drive, as they went on a 10-play, 67 yard drive to score once more when Odeman threw up a pass that Marq Johnson reeled-in after it went off a Northwood defender's hands. It resulted in the touchdown that cut the lead to 21-14 with 6:24 showing on the game clock.
The Timberwolves were able to pick up a few first downs from there and eventually kneeled-out the clock after the Cardinals were out of timeouts, closing out for the seven point victory.
Inside the Boxscore
- The 80-yard pass play to Farr marked the longest offensive play of the season.
- Farr had a career-high 124 yards receiving and the touchdown, posting four catches in the game.
- Max Corcoran had a team-high five catches for SVSU.
- Odeman was 16-of-29 passing for 235 yards and two touchdowns. Odeman now has 11 TD passes in 2015.
- Marq Johnson's touchdown catch was his third of the season.
- Alex Lewandoski had a team-high seven tackles for SVSU while McKoy had six, as did Bryan Jones.
- McKoy's interception marked the third of his young career.
- Briguglio had 102 yards on the ground for Northwood with a pair of TD's.
- The Northwood defense had four sacks while Michael Fisher and Mike Keith led the home tem with eight stops each.
Meijer "Player of the Game"
Farr earned Meijer "Player of the Game" honors with his four catches for 124 yards and a touchdown.
From Head Coach Jim Collins
"I thought our team played hard and never gave up, but we did not make enough plays to win the game and Northwood did."
Up Next for the SVSU...
Saginaw Valley returns to Wickes Stadium for the first of two consecutive home games. It will host the Hillsdale College Chargers (2-6, 2-5 GLIAC), who are coming off a 38-24 home victory over the Tiffin University Dragons.
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