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Huskies edge Cardinals 21-20 in season finale

Huskies edge Cardinals 21-20 in season finale

HOUGHTON, Mich. – The Saginaw Valley State University football team closed the 2021 season against Michigan Tech Saturday in Houghton, Mich.

Trailing 14-10 at the half, SVSU went in front on a Tommy Scott touchdown run in the third quarter. Michigan Tech answered later in the quarter and held on to top the Cardinals 21-20.

The loss snaps a five-game win streak for SVSU and ends the Cardinals' season with a record of 7-4 overall and 4-3 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

First Quarter:

  • SVSU scored on its first possession of the game on a 27-yard field goal from Connor Luksic.
  • The Huskies answered immediately with an eight-play, 68-yard drive capped off by a 28-yard touchdown pass from Will Ark to Darius Willis.
  • The Cardinals were on the move again on their next possession, but a fumble by Tommy Scott halted the drive.

Second Quarter:

  • Following the SVSU fumble, Michigan Tech chewed up 7:18 of game time with a 15-play, 82-yard drive. Jared Smith rushed it in from four yards to put the Huskies up 14-3.
  • Cameron Mitchell came up with an interception for the Cardinals, setting SVSU up at the MTU 30-yard line.
  • The Cardinals cut the deficit to 14-10 with a four-yard touchdown run from Colby Newburg.

Third Quarter:

  • On its second possession of the third quarter, SVSU went 80 yards in nine plays, with Scott breaking free for a 37-yard touchdown run, putting the Cardinals up 17-14.
  • The Huskies answered yet again with another long drive. MTU went 82 yards in 12 plays with Ark finding Hunter Richards for a 23-yard touchdown pass, giving the Huskies the lead 21-17.

Fourth Quarter:

  • Cameron Mitchell came up big for the Cardinal again, this time forcing a fumble that was recovered by Victor Abraham at the MTU 37-yard line.
  • With Tanner Slazinski at quarterback, SVSU drove the ball down to the MTU five-yard line but had to settle for a 24-yard field goal from Luksic.
  • SVSU got the ball back with 2:10 to play but was stopped on fourth down and MTU ran out the clock.

Inside the Box Score:

  • Before exiting, Colby Newburg was 10-of-15 passing for 116 yards. He added six carries for 12 yards and a score.
  • Tanner Slazinski was 10-of-15 through the air for 63 yards.
  • Isaiah Johnson-Mack caught nine passes for 78 yards.
  • Chad Gailliard hauled in seven passes for 66 yards. He closes his career second on the SVSU all-time receiving yardage list and surpassed 3,000 yards for his career on Saturday.
  • Tommy Scott had 18 carries for 94 yards and score. He ends his career fourth on the SVSU all-time rushing list with 2,680 career rushing yards.
  • Cameron Mitchell was named the "Meijer Player of the Game" after recording an interception and a forced fumble.
  • Trevor Nowaske had a team-high 13 tackles, including one for a loss.
  • Michael Woolridge added 12 tackles.
  • The Cardinals narrowly outgained the Huskies 288 to 279.
  • MTU controlled the time of possession with 31:16.

From Head Coach Ryan Brady:

Disappointing finish and ending to our season. I thought we battled hard for four quarters today.  We had a lot of injuries and that made it challenging at different times throughout the game.  

Obviously, it's a tough way to end our season.  Defensively, we struggled to stop the run and get off the field on 3rd & 4th down all day long.  In addition, we gave up two inexcusable touchdown passes on 4th down & long and those were costly.  
Offensively, we talked all week about finishing drives and protecting the football and we failed to do those two things at different times that cost us points.  Also, we had an opportunity to take the lead and convert on 3rd & 1 down by the goal-line late in the 4th quarter and instead, we made a poor decision with the football and that forced us into a Field goal.  
Unfortunately, self-inflicted wounds and critical errors did us in today.  
I'm very proud of our seniors and everything they accomplished this year.  

Seniors, you will be missed.  We are grateful and thankful for your leadership, love, and commitment.  You all have paved the way for future success within the football program.  And for that, I say thank you and I love you!  Go Cards - Earn It - Coach B.