DETROIT, Mich. - The Saginaw Valley State University football team traveled to Wayne State University for a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) matchup. On a cold and damp day, the Cardinals used a fourth quarter comeback to stay unbeaten in conference play after a 14-10 victory over the Warriors.
Neither team had much going early on until Wayne State put together an 11 play, 84 yard drive that had them at the SVSU 1 yard line with a second and goal remaining. Warrior QB Sean Guinane fumbled the exchange and Cardinal linebacker Brian Johnson fell on the loose ball in the endzone, giving possession back to SVSU at its own 20 with 4:31 left in the opening quarter.
The first quarter would end with the scoreboard stuck on 0-0.
The Warriors broke that scoreless deadlock at the 8:25 mark in the second quarter, as quarterback Doug Griffin had a four yard touchdown rush. A successful PAT kick gave WSU a 7-0 lead.
Another Wayne State drive soon later stalled at the Cardinal five yard line, as another fumble on the quarterback-center exchange on a fourth and one turned the ball over on downs to SVSU.
An interception on SVSU's first play following put the defense in another tough spot, but the Cards forced another turnover on downs with WSU at the 21 yard line and just 18 seconds left in the first half.
Just two plays after that, Saginaw gave the gall right back on a fumble, allowing the Warriors a shot at the endzone with four ticks left on the clock.
The pass fell incomplete, however, and the game entered the half with Wayne State holding the same 7-0 lead.
Saginaw Valley was limited to just 74 yards of total offense in the first half and were just 1-of-6 on third down conversions.
The first Wayne State drive of the second half was halted when Jordan Maccoux and Will Schwarz teamed-up for a sack to set-up a fourth and 22. It was Schwarz's fifth sack of the season, which currently puts him third in the GLIAC.
On the ensuing SVSU drive, a Jonathon Jennings fumble on a Warrior sack gave WSU the ball at the SV 28 yard line.
Once again, the defense held strong and held the opponent to just three points after a 41 yard field goal by Stefan Terleckyj. That gave the Warriors a 10-0 lead with 9:24 left in the third quarter.
Wayne State surprised the Cards with an onside kick on the very next kickoff and was able to recover.
The defense, however, held Wayne to a short possession and forced a punt.
SVSU then put together a solid 9 play, 49 yard drive that had it facing a fourth and 10 from the Wayne State 31.
Scott Stanford lined-up for a 48 yard field goal try and narrowly missed it to the left. It was Stanford's first missed field goal in seven attempts in 2013.
The third quarter would pass with the score still 10-0 in the Warriors' favor. It was the first time since a shutout loss to Grand Valley in 2008 that the Cardinals' didn't manage to score through three quarters of play.
Saginaw Valley would take over from its own 20 on the first possession of the fourth quarter. The Cardinals went on an 11 play, 80 yard drive that was capped-off with an 18 yard scoring strike from Jennings to Jeff Janis. A Stanford PAT helped cut the Warrior lead to 10-7 with just over 11:31 left in the game.
After a three-and-out from Wayne, the Cardinals struck quickly with 8:34 left on the clock on another TD hook-up from Jennings to Janis, this one from 38 yards out. Another extra-point gave SVSU its first lead of the game at 14-10.
The defense was able to hold the Warriors to a quick 59 second possession after taking the lead and got the ball back with 7:29 left in the game.
The Cards were able to eat-up 7:17 seconds of the clock on a drive that was stopped at the Wayne State five yard line. A pair of off-setting penalties, followed by a WSU sack, gave the Warriors the ball back with 12 secconds left on the clock and 87 yards to go.
A pair of desperation passes fell incomplete and SVSU kept its perfect GLIAC record in-tact with the 14-10 comeback victory.
The Cardinals held a 12:25 to 2:35 advantage in time of possession in the game's closing quarter and a 12-2 edge in first downs. SVSU was 4-of-5 on key third down conversions as well in the fourth.
Saginaw Valley finished the game with a 340-274 upper-hand in total offense.
Janis, the Meijer "Player of the Game," had seven catches for 139 yards and the two receiving touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
Michael Albrecht had a stellar game receiving as well, tying a career-high with 11 catches for 77 yards.
Jennings finished with 22 completions for 259 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Mark Mays led the team's ground attack with 48 yards on 17 carries.
Jon Bryant led the defensive effort with eight tackles.
Murtada Jabbie posted a career-high six stops, including a sack and two tackles-for-loss.
The Cardinals (6-1, 6-0 GLIAC) return home Saturday (Oct. 26) for a GLIAC matchup with Hillsdale College. Kickoff is set for 7:00 pm at Wickes Stadium.