Cardinals power past Wildcats 33-21 on Senior Day

Cardinals power past Wildcats 33-21 on Senior Day

UNIVERSITY CENTER, Mich. – The Saginaw Valley State University football team made it five straight wins, storming back against Northern Michigan University on Senior Day on Saturday at Wickes Stadium.

The Cardinals fell behind 21-6 as the Wildcats scored three quick touchdowns in the second quarter. SVSU closed the gap just before the half and rolled after the break, closing the game with 27 unanswered points in a 33-21 victory.

The win keeps the postseason hopes for SVSU alive, pushing the Cardinals to 7-3 overall and 4-2 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

Prior to kickoff, the Cardinals honored the careers of 18 student-athletes on Senior Day.

How It Happened:

First Quarter:

  • SVSU was able to move the ball on its first possession, going 78 yards in 11 plays. The Cardinals took the early lead with a 32-yard field goal from Connor Luksic.

Second Quarter:

  • Luksic made it 6-0 with a 37-yard make in the opening minutes of the second.
  • NMU answered quickly with a 57-yard touchdown run from Tyquan Cox, giving the Wildcats a 7-6 lead.
  • After SVSU quarterback Colby Newburg was picked off, the Wildcats found the end zone again on a 30-yard touchdown pass from Drake Davis to Wyatt Davis.
  • The teams traded 3-and-outs, but an NMU punt was muffed and the Wildcats were set up deep in Cardinal territory. NMU scored on the first play of the next drive, a 20-yard touchdown pass from Drake Davis to Wyatt Davis.
  • With all the momentum on the NMU sideline, SVSU answered before the half with a 10-play, 75-yard drive that resulted in a 13-yard touchdown pass from Newburg to Isaiah Johnson-Mack.

Third Quarter:

  • The Cardinals were forced into a 3-and-out to open the third, but Nick Whiteside came away with a big interception on the next NMU drive to give SVSU the ball back at midfield.
  • After a long pass play to Casey Williams, the Cardinals cut the deficit to 21-20 on a six-yard touchdown run from Tommy Scott.
  • Another long SVSU drive ended in a field goal, this one from 24 yards for Luksic to give SVSU the lead 23-21.
  • The ensuing kickoff landed on the ground and took an SVSU bounce. It was recovered by Kyle Shrider at the Wildcat 20-yard line.
  • The Cardinals were unable to punch it in, but Luksic was able to connect for a fourth time in the game, extending the SVSU lead to 26-21 with a 30-yard field goal.

Fourth Quarter:

  • The Cardinals were able to put some distance between themselves and the Wildcats with a 16-yard touchdown run by Newburg with under six minutes to play.
  • SVSU got the ball back with the 12-point lead and five minutes to play. The ground game kept moving the chains and the Cardinals were able to run out the rest of the clock.

Inside the Box Score:

  • SVSU outgained NMU 428 to 248 in total offense.
  • The Cardinals controlled the clock, grinding out 278 yards on the ground on 57 total carries. SVSU held the ball for 38:17.
  • The SVSU offensive line unit was named the Meijer Players of the Game.
  • Colby Newburg was 12-of-22 passing for 150 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. He added 10 carries for 55 yards and another score.
  • Tommy Scott recorded 20 carries for 98 yards and a score.
  • Casey Williams had four receptions for 93 yards, with a long of 38 yards.
  • Isaiah Johnson-Mack finished with four catches for 40 yards.
  • Trevor Nowaske finished with a team-high 11 tackles, including one sack and 1.5 tackles for loss.
  • Victor Abraham added eight tackles and .5 tackles for loss.
  • Connor Luksic was 4-of-4 on field goals and 3-of-3 on extra points. He added three punts, including one inside the 20.

Up Next:

SVSU closes the 2021 regular season with a matchup against Michigan Tech at 1 pm Saturday in Houghton, Mich.

Postgame Interview with Head Coach Ryan Brady: