UNIVERSITY CENTER - The Saginaw Valley State University football team fell in its 2014 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) opener to the visiting Tiffin University Dragons on Saturday night (9/13) by a score of 28-17.
Saginaw Valley jumped out to a 7-0 lead at the 8:58 mark in the first quarter as quarterback Keith Moore got loose on the outside and found paydirt from 21 yards out for the score.
Tiffin responded with 13 straight points after quarterback Antonio Pipkin scored on a 12 yard run and kicker Tomislav Derezic made good on a 25 yard field goal with 7:36 left in the half and added a 40-yarder as time expired to give the visitors the 13-7 advantage heading into the break.
The Dragons would get the ball to begin the second half and cap-off a 10 play, 70 yard drive with a 23 yard TD pass from Pipkin to Marcus Beaurem. Tiffin, which runs the swinging-gate extra point set, ran in a two-point conversion with holder Tyler Jones to make the lead 21-7.
With 3:58 left in the third, SVSU dad a five play, 24 yard drive that followed an interception by Sloan Klaski and finished with a nine yard touchdown pass from Moore to Andrew Dillon, who made a sensational catch in the back of the endzone for the score. A Scott Stanford extra point made the score 21-14.
The Cards would tack-on another three points at the 13:19 mark in the fourth quarter, as Stanford made good on a 45 yard field goal attempt to draw the home team to within 21-17.
On Tiffin's ensuing drive, however, Jerry Brown scored on a 10 yard run to push the lead to 28-17 after a Derezic PAT.
SVSU was unable to get anything going the rest of the way and Tiffin got the ball back and was able to run out the clock for the final 5:59 of the contest.
Allante Gardner led the rushing attack for SVSU, carrying the ball 16 times for 96 yards. He was named the Meijer "Player of the Game" Moore ran the ball a dozen times for 84 yards and a score. He added a touchdown through the air to Dillon, who had five catches and the score.
Saginaw Valley out-rushed the Dragons 190-154 but were out-gained through the air by a 229-77 margin.
The Cardinals fall to 0-2 on the season and 0-1 in the GLIAC while Tiffin is now 1-1 overall and 1-1 in league play for 2014. SVSU hits the road for the first time this season, as it travels to Michigan Tech on Saturday (9/20) for a 1:00 pm contest with the Huskies. Last year, SVSU defeated Tech by a score of 55-35 in Houghton.