MIDLAND -- Saginaw Valley made the short trip over the Midland to take on the Northwood University Timberwolves in the annual Axe Bowl contest on Saturday (Nov. 4) afternoon. After jumping out to a 21-7 lead, the Timberwolves answered with four unanswered touchdowns and would end up claiming the annual rivalry game by a score of 35-21.
The first quarter went by scoreless, with the Timberwolves intercepting a pair of SVSU passes to halt scoring drives and both teams combining for seven punts.
Although the game's first nine drives resulted in no scoring, the final two of the half saw touchdowns scored for each side.
The Cardinals got on the board first, cashing-in on an 11-play 83 yard drive that was finished with a touchdown pass from Ryan Conklin to Chad Gailliard from four yards out. That score gave the visitors a 7-0 lead with 6:42 to play in the opening half after a Drew Franklin extra point.
Northwood got on the board just before the halftime break, as a 13-play, 68 yard drive finished when Gary Landless recovered a fumble at the goal line in the endzone to knot the score at 7-7 after the PAT with just 47 seconds showing on the clock.
That score held true entering the half, as SVSU took a knee after receiving the ensuing Northwood kickoff.
The Conklin to Gailliard struck again for SVSU to begin the third quarter, as Conklin pump faked and found Gailliard over the top on the right side behind the Timberwolf defense. He took it the rest of the way, scoring from 62 yards out to make the score 14-7 at the 12:22 marker of the quarter after the Franklin point after.
Tommy Scott Jr. cashed-in next for the Cards, splitting the middle of the Northwood defense and finding the endzone from 66 yards out, pusing the lead to 21-7 with 5:53 to play in the third.
The T-Wolves used a pair of scores to tie the score at 21-21, using a 30 yard pass play at the 4:11 mark of the third and a 13 yard rushing touchdown with just eight seconds left in the third.
Northwood then scored on its first drive in the fourth quarter to take its first lead, taking the ball and scoring a rushing touchdown to make the score 28-21 with 12:00 to play in the game. The home team added another touchdown at the 6:32 mark of the fourth, pushing the lead out to 35-21.
That would do it for the game's scoring, as SVSU's last drive ended with just over two minutes remaining and the Timberwolves claimed the 14-point victory.
Inside the Boxscore
- Scott rushed 22 times for a career-high 159 yards and a touchdown. He was named the Meijer "Player of the Game" after his performance.
- Gailliard had four catches for 94 yards and a pair of scores.
- Josh Schelke added four catches with 68 yards receiving.
- Conklin had 211 yards passing with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
- Michael Alexander had another standout performane defensively, racking-up 16 tackles.
- Myles Collier added 13 stops for the Cardinals, marking a new career-high for the senior.
- Bryan Jones had 11 tackles with a fumble recovery while Justin Whitted had eight with a forced fumble.
Saginaw Valley rounds-out the 2017 season with a road trip to play at Ashland University on Saturday (Nov. 11) afternoon. Kickoff is set for 1:00 p.m. in Ohio against the No. 11 Eagles.
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