UNIVERSITY CENTER -- The Cardinal Football team hosted the Ashland University Eagles on Saturday (Nov. 2) afternoon in SVSU's first home game after a stretch of three straight weeks on the road. In what was a tight contest, the Eagles came out on top in the end with a 24-21 victory at Wickes Stadium.
Ashland improves to 6-3 overall and 5-2 in the GLIAC while Saginaw Valley falls to 4-5 overall and 2-4 in the league.
AU got on the board first for a 7-0 lead with 1:57 left in the opening quarter after a touchdown pass, as they gained possession on a Cardinal fumble. The Eagles tacked-on another score early on in the second quarter on a quick one play drive after an SVSU punt, converting on a 72 yard TD pass with 14:49 showing on the clock.
A Casey Williams touchdown run from a yard out with 10:14 left in the second quarter trimmed the deficit to 14-7, which is where it would be at the halftime break.
The Eagles came out and struck on its first drive of the second half, using a touchdown run to push the lead to 21-7 with 10:29 left in the third.
SVSU had an answer, however, coming up with a big response and drive that was capped-off by a TD pass from Ryan Conklin to Michael King. That made the count 21-14 in AU's favor with 5:27 showing on the third quarter clock.
Ashland put together a long 17-play, 55 yard drive in the fourth quarter that ate-up 9:16 of the clock and was finished by a 47-yard field goal from Satchel Denton that put the game's score at 24-14 as 2:27 remained in the game.
The Cards bounced back quickly from that, using five plays for 67 yards to make the score 24-21 as Conklin found Williams for a 28-yard touchdown pass.
With just 1:11 left in the game, SV was forced to attempt an onside kick that ensued.
That was recovered cleanly by the Eagles, who were then able to kneel out the clock and preserve the narrow three-point victory.
Inside the Boxscore
- AU posted a narrow 356-336 edge in total offense and SVSU had a 210-201 advantage in the passing game.
- The Eagles posted a 158-126 lead in the rushing game.
- Williams finished with six catches for 104 yards and a score. He added a rushing touchdown as well.
- Conklin was 14-of-22 through the air for 210 yards and two touchdowns.
- Nate McCrary had 18 rushes for 72 yards in the contest.
- Chad Gailliard added six catches for 82 yards.
- Michael Woolridge had a career-best 15 tackles with a pass breakup.
- David Still added 10 tackles with a sack, which Justin Whitted had nine stops.
- Austin Egler and Jacob Dorn each added six tackles with a sack.
Postgame Interview - Ryan Brady
SVSU makes the trip to the Upper Peninsula for a 1:00 p.m. game at Northern Michigan University on Saturday (Nov. 9). The Wildcats are coming off a 28-10 loss at Northwood on Saturday. You can follow the action live at svsucardinals.com.
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