UNIVERSITY CENTER -- The Cardinal Football team hosted the Michigan Tech University Huskies on Saturday (Sep. 21) afternoon in the GLIAC opener for both teams. After a Michigan Tech touchdown on its first possession, Saginaw Valley shut the door defensively and used a 17-point fourth quarter to register a 23-7 comeback victory at Wickes Stadium.
SVSU got a career-high 131 yards on the ground from Nate McCrary and three field goals from Connor Luksic as part of stellar special teams play to help lead to the win. The Cardinal defense forced three turnovers as well, with Nick Whiteside, Jared Stephens and Michael Woolridge all picking-off passes.
Tech took a 7-0 lead at the 12:37 marker when Will Ark connected with Jacob Wenzlick for a 52-yard score.
A 47-yard field goal from Luksic split the uprights with 5:47 to play in the opening quarter, trimming the deficit to 7-3. Luksic added another field goal in the second when he drilled a 43-yard try to narrow the score at 7-6. That score came as 6:17 showed in the second quarter and the 7-6 count remained into the half.
The third quarter went scoreless, as both teams failed to find paydirt and entered the fourth quarter with the score at 7-6 in favor of the Huskies.
SVSU scored on all three possessions of the fourth quarter, however, stepping up offensively to make the score 23-7. Ryan Conklin found Michael King from six yards out as 13:38 showed on the clock to give the home team its first lead of the game at 13-7. After the Stephens pick, McCrary plunged-in from four yards out with 11:23 remaining to push the edge out to 20-7 after a Luksic PAT. Luksic capped the scoring with a 26-yard field goal to make the score 23-7. That score finished-off a 12 play, 66 yard drive that chewed 7:33 off the clock and left Michigan Tech just 1:24 to play.
That score stood as the final, with the Huskies failing to produce from there and SVSU kneeling-out the clock for the 16-point victory.
Inside the Boxscore
- McCrary had a career-best 131 yards on the ground on 12 carries with a touchdown. He was named the Meijer "Player of the Game."
- Tommy Scott Jr. added 11 carries for 68 yards rushing.
- King had three catches for 30 yards and a touchdown.
- Chad Gailliard had four catches for 50 yards.
- Conklin finished 18-of-26 through the air for 177 yards, a touchdown and interception.
- Luksic was stellar in special teams, nailing three field goals on three tries, two extra-points and putting all five of his punts inside the 20.
- Dillon Webb had a team-high six tackles while Whiteside and Woolridge each had five stops with an interception.
- Aaron Berry, Joe Judge, Bryce Anderson and Heath Williams all added four tackles.
- Stephens had the other interception for the Cardinal defense.
Postgame Interview - Ryan Brady
SVSU travels to Wayne State University on Saturday (Sep. 28) for the second GLIAC contest of the 2019 campaign. Kickoff is set for 6:00 p.m. at WSU's Adams Field. The Warriors are coming off a 33-7 road victory at Quincy on Saturday.
--- www.svsucardinals.com ---