MIDLAND -- The Cardinal Football team made the short trip to Northwood on Saturday (Nov. 3) for the annual Axe Bowl game, coming away with a 31-10 victory after strong special teams play and a stellar rushing attack.
The Cardinals got on the board first for a 7-0 edge as Josh Schelke broke through the line and blocked a punt, scooped the ball up and returned it 12 yards for a touchdown. That was followed by a Connor Luksic PAT.
Northwood answered with the next 10 points for a 10-7 lead, getting a 25 yard field goal with 1:51 left in the first quarter and a 32 yard TD run with 10:41 showing in the second quarter.
SVSU then took advantage of plus field position and only had to travel 33 yards for a four yard touchdown run from Nate McCrary to make the score 14-10.
Another score came right before the half for Saginaw Valley, as Luksic drilled a 24 yard try and pushed the lead to 17-10 heading into the half.
Early on in the second half, SVSU got another blocked punt for a score when Bryce Anderson broke through, blocked the kick and fell on the ball in the endzone. That score and a Luksic point after made it 24-10 with 12:57 left in the third.
With 1:01 left in the third, Ryan Conklin capped-off a 15 play, 61 yard drive with a rushing touchdown to push the score out to 31-10.
Saginaw Valley's final offensive drive began with 14:53 left in the fourth and lasted more than 12 minutes as the Cardinals ran 21 plays for 82 yards, helping seal the victory with a stellar ground attack with rushes from De'Juan James and Jermaih Johnson.
A Sloan Klaski interception sealed the deal, as he stepped in front of a Timberwolf receiver and picked-off a pass to send the Cardinals to the 31-10 victory after a couple plays in victory formation.
Inside the Boxscore
- Of SVSU's 278 yards of total offense, 234 was on the ground for a season-best rushing attack.
- The SVSU defense held Northwood to 191 yards; 66 of those coming on the ground.
- SVSU owned the time of possession as well, 33:47 to 26:13.
- The rushing attack was spearheaded by McCrary's 20 rushes for 98 yards and a touchdown.
- Johnson toted the ball 22 times for 92 yards while James had seven rushes for 35 yards.
- Conklin added a rushing score for Saginaw Valley.
- Luksic was 1-of-2 on his field goal tries and made all four PAT attempts.
- David Still had a career-high 12 tackles with 3.5 tackles-for-loss.
- Michael Alexander added eight stops while Donnell Alexander had six.
- Jacob Dorn and Heath Williams each had 1.5 sacks.
- Schelke and Anderson each registered a special teams touchdown.
- The offensive line earned Meijer "Player of the Game" honors after their performance in the victory.
Saginaw Valley rounds-out the season Saturday on the road at Davenport University. Kickoff is set for noon in Caledonia.
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