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Turnovers Haunt Cardinals in 33-28 Loss to Wildcats

Turnovers Haunt Cardinals in 33-28 Loss to Wildcats

MARQUETTE, Mich. - The Saginaw Valley State University football team suffered a 33-28 loss on the road to Northern Michigan today (Nov. 3) in a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference contest.

Saginaw Valley opened the game scoring when quarterback Jonathon Jennings (Columbus, Ohio/Westerville South HS) found a wide open Jeff Janis (Tawas, Mich.) with a perfect pass from 57-yards out to give the Cardinals lead 7-0 with 3:15 left in the first quarter.  Jennings finished the day 17-of-30 for 213 yards and two touchdowns through the air.  He also added 23 yards and a score on the ground.

Northern Michigan looked to steal the momentum right back from the Cardinals with a 98-yard kick off return, only to have it called back by a personal foul penalty.  The Wildcats eventually evened the score on the same drive when Cody Scepaniak connected with Christian Jessie for a score with just under a minute left  in the first quarter.

The Cardinal defense held the Wildcats to a field goal after a punt bounced up off the turf and hit off the helmet of one of the Cardinal blockers.  

Jennings and Janis connected on a 39-yard strike across the middle to give the Cardinals back the lead, 14-10.  Janis, the reigning GLIAC "Player of the Week," finished the game with 11 catches for 186 yards and a pair of scores.

Meijer "Player of the Game," Tim Hogue (Inkster, Mich.) put a string of strong runs together for Saginaw Valley to setup a five-yard touchdown run by Jennings to push the lead to 21-10 with 2:20 left in the first half.  Hogue finished the game with a career-high 211 yards on 26 carries.

Northern Michigan kicker Rockne Belmonte hit on a 55-yard field goal as time expired in the first half.  The Cardinal held a 21-13 advantage at the break.

The Wildcats got on the scoreboard first in the second half on a 49-yard field goal off the foot of Belmonte after another special teams mishap on a punt gave Northern Michigan the ball back in Cardinal territory. 

The Cardinal defense stepped up big as Jeff Heath (Lake Orion, Mich.) intercepted passes on back-to-back possessions to setup a 48-yard touchdown run up the middle by Hogue to give SVSU a 28-16 lead.

Northern Michigan went on to score 17 unanswered points and take a 33-28 lead over the Cardinals late in the fourth quarter.

Saginaw Valley possessed the ball with 1:32 remaining in the game and trailing by five points at the Northern Michigan 32 yard line, but were unable to find the endzone as they dropped their third game of the season.

Jon Bryant (Detroit, Mich./Oak Park HS) led the defense with 11 tackles on the afternoon.  Brian Johnson (Muskegon, Mich./Catholic Central HS) added 10 tackles, while Heath added nine stops to go along with his two interceptions.

With the loss SVSU falls to 7-3 overall on the season and 6-3 in the GLIAC, while Northern Michigan improves to 4-6 overall and 3-6 in the conference.  The Cardinals will welcome Grand Valley State University to Wickes Stadium for the regular season finale at 1:00 PM.