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No. 2 Ferris State holds off SVSU in OT 47-45

No. 2 Ferris State holds off SVSU in OT 47-45

BIG RAPIDS, Mich. – The Saginaw Valley State University football team gave the No. 2 ranked team in NCAA DII all it could handle, pushing Ferris State University to overtime in the 2021 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference opener Saturday night in Big Rapids, Mich.

The Cardinals scored on the final play of regulation to push the Bulldogs to overtime. After FSU scored and converted for two points, SVSU faced an eight-point deficit. Casey Williams caught a fourth-down touchdown pass, but the ensuing two-point conversion was unsuccessful, giving Ferris State the 47-45 win.

The loss drops SVSU to 1-2 overall and 0-1 in the GLIAC.

The contest was chaotic all night. The first score of the game resulted in a 1-yard touchdown run for FSU, but the extra point was blocked and returned for two points in favor of the Cardinals. After Connor Luksic hit a pair of field goals to give SVSU an 8-6 lead early in the second quarter, Evan Cummins rushed the ball across the line for a score to put FSU up 13-8.

SVSU jumped right back in front with a 39-yard interception return for a touchdown from Noah Suber to give the Cardinals a 15-13 lead. Before the end of the first half, FSU march down the field and capped off a 13-play, 80-yard drive with a touchdown pass in the closing seconds of the second quarter to take the 20-15 lead into the halftime break,

After Luksic made it 20-18 in favor of FSU with a 28-yard field goal early in the third, the Bulldogs scored two unanswered touchdowns, missing both extra points to build a 32-18 lead, with 9:45 to play in the third.

The Cardinals began to chip away, as Tommy Scott scored a pair of touchdowns, one in the third and another early in the fourth to tie the score at 32-32. The score remained tied until Cummins found the end zone for the third time with 45 seconds left in regulation for the Bulldogs.

With one last chance to tie the game, SVSU's quarterback Matt Considine found Isaiah Johnson-Mack as time expired for the tying touchdown from 10 yards out to send the contest to overtime.

The FSU rushing game secured a touchdown in overtime for the Bulldogs, and a two-point conversion put SVSU down 45-37.  After the Cardinals drove the ball to the Bulldog 1-yard line, FSU pushed the Cardinals back, forcing a final play from the 10-yard line. SVSU converted a fourth-down completion, as Considine hooked up with Williams for a 10-yard touchdown.

The two-point conversion for the Cardinals failed, allowing FSU to escape with the win.

Inside the Box Score:

From Head Coach Ryan Brady:

"Our Culture is to 'Earn It'. Plain and simple. Our core values have been on display each of the first three weeks of the season. We play with championship effort and championship attitude. We show respect and we never give up. We're intentional about how we care for each other and we always stay together. That's what 'Earning It' is all about. Obviously, I'm proud of the way we battled tonight. Our kids play extremely hard and they believe.  Our kids know we can compete with anyone.

We're all disappointed with the outcome and I do not believe in moral victories. We lost the game because we had too many critical errors and there is no excuse for that. We had opportunity after opportunity to take control but we just couldn't harness the momentum. When you have a chance to put a team away like Ferris state on the road, you must capitalize. You can't give a team that has won 31 straight regular-season games and has only lost three regular-season games since October of 2013 additional possessions and penalties. Turnovers and penalties hurt us tonight.
Give Ferris State credit. They found a way to win.  I love the way we are competing. Now, we just need to improve on the little things and learn how close out these types games. All of our goals are still right in front of us. Our margin for error is gone. But, I like the fact that we have our backs against the wall.  This will reveal how good we really are."

Up Next: The Cardinals continue their road tour with a trip to Wayne State University at 6 pm on Saturday, September 25 in Detroit.