MIDLAND, Mich. - The No. 15 Saginaw Valley State University football team battled Northwood University in the 38th annual "Axe Bowl" game today (Oct. 6), defeating the Timberwolves 28-20 in front of a packed homecoming crowd at Hantz Stadium.
After giving the Timberwolves great field position after a bad snap on a punt, the Cardinal defense forced Northwood quarterback Aaron Shavers to give the ball right back. Jonathon Jennings (Columbus, Ohio/Westerville South HS) found Jeff Janis (Tawas, Mich.) five plays later for a 62-yard strike to give the Cardinals the 7-0 lead.
With 12:05 left to play in the first half, Jennings and Janis hooked-up on an 18-yard touchdown, capping off a 10-play, 75 yard drive that gave the Cardinals a 14-3 advantage. The Timeberwolves rebounded to slash the SVSU lead to 14-10 after Joe Bitterman intercepted a Jennings pass 53-yards for a score.
The Cardinals responded by putting together a nine-play, 60-yard drive to extend their lead to 21-10 as time was running down in the first half. Jennings connected once again with Janis in the back corner of the endzone on a fade for their third touchdown of the half.
The Timberwolves tacked on an Alex Faust 37-yard field goal midway through the third quarter, cutting the Cardinals lead to 21-13.
Saginaw Valley running back Jamohn Martin (Ravenna, Mich.) pushed the Cardinal lead to 28-13 with 9:46 left in the game on a two-yard run to paydirt, capping off a 13-play drive that spanned 80 yards.
Northwood went on to add a touchdown late in the fourth quarter, but it would not be enough as the Cardinals went on to the 28-20 victory.
Jennings ended the contest 25-of-35 throwing for 286 yards and three touchdowns, his 17th consecutive contest with multiple touchdown passes. Janis finished the game with 11 catches for 183 yards and three scores. Tim Hogue (Inskter, Mich.) recorded 16 carries for 57 yards on the ground.
The defense was lead by Brian Johnson (Muskegon, Mich./Catholic Centeral HS) with 15 tackles. Senior Grant Caserta (Holland, Mich./West Ottawa HS) added 13 tackles, while Jon Bryant (Detroit, Mich./Oak Park HS) chipped in eight. Meijer "Player of the Game" Jeff Heath (Lake Orion, Mich.) had seven tackles and two fumble recoveries.
Saginaw Valley moves their record to 5-1 overall on the season and 4-1 in the GLIAC, while Northwood falls to 4-2 on the year and 4-2 in the conference.
The Cardinals will return to action on Thursday night when they host Wayne State University in the NCAA DII and CBS Sports Network game of the Week at 8:00 PM. Game will be nationally televised on CSB College Sports.