COMMERCE, Texas – Despite being held to 127 total yards of offense, the Saginaw Valley State University football team was able to battle through and escape Texas A&M-Commerce with a big road win in overtime on Saturday.
The Cardinal defense stood tall for the majority of the contest, adding an interception returned for a score in the second half, as SVSU built a 14-3 lead. The Lions scored 10-unanswered points in the fourth quarter, tying the game as regulation ended on a field goal.
After Commerce took its first lead of the game on a field goal in overtime, Tommy Scott found a hole and cashed in from six yards out to give SVSU the 20-17 win.
The victory moves SVSU to 3-3 overall this season as the team prepares to return to Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play next week.
After forcing the Lions to punt from their own end zone, SVSU got the ball deep in Commerce territory. The Cardinals capitalized, going 26 yards on five plays, capped off by a 1-yard touchdown run by Colby Newburg midway through the first quarter, giving SVSU a 7-0 lead.
Commerce got on the board with a 39-yard field goal with seven minutes left in the first half. The drive went 44 yards on seven plays.
The score remained 7-3 in favor of the Cardinals until midway through the third when Nick Whiteside picked off a pass for SVSU and sprinted 74 yards the other way to make it 14-3.
The Lions got right back in the game early in the fourth with a touchdown pass from Miklo Smalls to Chance Cooper from 29 yards out. The SVSU lead was trimmed to 14-11 after Commerce converted a two-point conversion.
Looking to go in front, Commerce turned the ball over at the SVSU two-yard line with 5:29 left when Smalls tripped on an attempted handoff and Michael Woolridge pounced on the loose ball for the Cardinals.
With the clock winding down, Commerce got one more chance and hit a 31-yard field goal as time expired to tie the score at 14-14 and send the game to overtime.
Playing in its second overtime game of the season, SVSU held Commerce to a field goal to open the extra session. The Cardinals kept the ball on the ground and Scott, the Meijer Player of the Game, ended the contest with his six-yard touchdown run.
Inside the Box Score:
- Commerce outgained SVSU 278-127
- SVSU was 3-10 passing for 24 yards
- Scott finished with 20 carries for 71 yards and one TD
- Newburg had 5 carries for 29 yards and a score
- Chad Gailliard two catches for 19 yards
- Connor Luksic with 6 punts, averaging 48.2 per attempt, including a 70-yarder
- Victor Abraham with nine tackles and one sack
- Javarree Jackson with nine tackles and one sack
- Whiteside had seven tackles, one INT returned 74 yards for a TD, and one pass breakup
- Michael Woolridge with eight tackles and one fumble recovery
From Head Coach Ryan Brady:
First, this was a huge team win against a national powerhouse. To win on the road in the heart of Texas against an elite DII program is what it's all about! Commerce was ranked in the top five in the preseason and is moving up to Division I FCS next year. To come down here and win in the 90-plus degree heat says an awful lot about what is going on in our program right now. This is the biggest win for SVSU Football since beating Valdosta State in 2012.
Finally, I would just like to thank everyone back home at SVSU for everything they do to help our kids and program. Literally, every department on campus has been incredible to us and my staff and I are extremely grateful for all of your efforts. Everyone should feel a part of this Win. We couldn't do it without all of you. Thank you, everyone! It's a great day to be a Cardinal. Earn It.