UNIVERSITY CENTER -- The Saginaw Valley State University football team came through late in the game on Saturday afternoon, scoring 14 fourth quarter points to claim a 21-20 comeback victory over Truman State University at Wickes Stadium.
SVSU found itself trailing after three straight second half scores from the Bulldogs but came through in the clutch, converting on six fourth down conversions in the final two drives to pull out the win.
After a slow start to the game saw the Cards down 3-0 at the 2:24 marker of the first quarter, the home team grabbed a 7-3 lead on a 5-yard touchdown run by Ryan Conklin with 12:33 showing on the clock in the second quarter. That score carried over into the halftime break as well.
The Bulldogs got the lead back and used an 11-play, 80-yard drive that chewed-up 5:20 of the clock to take a 10-7 edge. They then recovered an onside kick attempt that was muffed by the Cardinals and capitalized on that with a field goal, making the score 13-7.
Truman's next scoring drive came after a quick Cardinal possession, posting another touchdown to take a 20-7 advantage with 2:48 left in the third quarter.
The Cardinals responded in a big way to that, using a big drive of their own in 19 plays, 70 yards and 8:30 of possession. That drive was capped-off with Conklin's second rushing TD of the game, trimming the deficit to 20-14 after another Connor Luksic PAT.
Saginaw Valley forced a quick four and out for the Bulldogs and would take over at their own 26 yardline to attempt to take the lead.
They did just that, piecing together a nice 13-play, 74-yard drive that was finished-off by a Conklin to Chad Gailliard touchdown pass, as he hit Gailliard in the right corner of the endzone. Luksic's third and final point after gave SVSU the 21-20 lead with only 15 seconds showing on the clock.
The Cardinal defense held tough and stopped both Bulldog plays next, with the final play of the game being an interception at midfield by Nick Whiteside.
Inside the Boxscore
- Conklin finished the matchup 26-42 through the air for 229 yards and the game-winning touchdown to Gailliard. He added a team-high 41 yards rushing with two scores. He was named the Meijer "Player of the Game."
- Gailliard had eight catches for 73 yards and the score.
- Marcus Edmondson matched Gailliard's game-high eight receptions and had a team-best 85 yards receiving.
- Dillon Dixon had nine stops from the safety position, as did linebacker Michael Alexander.
- Heath Williams added six tackles with a sack and 2.5 tackles for loss.
- Aaron Berry and Reggie Irby had five tackles while David Still had three - two of those for a loss.
Saginaw Valley hosts Wayne State in a Saturday (Sep. 22) matchup at Wickes Stadium. Kickoff is set for 1:00 p.m. against the Warriors. There will be an honoring of the 2018 Cardinal Athletic Hall of Fame class at the half as well.
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