FINDLAY, Ohio - The SVSU football team traveled to the University of Findlay in the 2016 season opener on Saturday (Sep. 3) evening. The Cardinals fell behind earlyl and would fall by a final score of 37-19 despite making a strong comeback effort in the late stages of the contest.
The Oilers scored first with a 12 yard touchdown run and led 6-0 after the Cardinals blocked the extra point with 5:10 showing on the clock. Findlay added another score as time expired in the first quarter and one more at the 11:19 marker of the second quarter to extend the lead out to 20-0, which is where it would stand heading into the halftime break.
Findlay opened the third quarter with another scoring drive, punching one in from six yards out to push the lead to 27-0 with 11:09 showing on the clock.
A 30-yard field goal with 5:48 showing in the third from the Oilers made the score 30-7 in the home team's advantage. Findlay added another TD just under a minute into the fourth to push the score to 37-7.
SVSU was set up by a big pass play from Jacob LeClair to Marq Johnson to put the ball at the one yardline and give the visitors a great scoring look. Jermaih Johnson would then punch it on from there, crossing the goal line to find paydirt and make the score 37-13 after Kenrick's PAT was blocked.
On Findlay's next drive, Chris Travis forced a fumble that was scooped-up by Dillon Dixon to give the Cardinals the ball right back af the UF 36. LeClair wasted no time, hitting Vultaggio on a post route for another score, cutting the deficit to 37-19 after a two-point conversion pass fell incomplete in the corner of the endzone.
That same score is where the final would stand, as a late drive by the Cardinals would not be converted and the time ran out on the visitors.
Inside the Boxscore
- Vultaggio hauled-in five catches for 126 yards and a pair of touchdowns. It marked his first 100-yard receiving game and a career-high. He was named the Meijer "Player of the Game" in the effort.
- LeClair came on in a relief effort at quarterback, completing 8-of-16 attempts for 141 yards and a score.
- Conklin got the start, tossing for 107 yards on 6-of-15 passing with a TD.
- David Nay led the rushing attack, going for 50 yards on 10 attempts.
- Jermaih Johnson added a touchdown for SVSU, marking the third of his career.
- Five Cardinals posted double-digit figures in tackles, led by Bryan Jones's 13 stops.
- Matt McKoy and Joe Craven each added 11 tackles while Myles Collier and Michael Alexander had 10.
- Findlay posted a 456-306 edge in total offense and a 182-58 advantage in rushing yards. SVSU had 248 yards through the air and the Oilers went for 274.
Saginaw Valley hosts Northwood University (0-1, 0-1 GLIAC) on Saturday (Sep. 10) in the annual Axe Bowl game. Kick-off is set for 7:00 p.m. at Wickes Stadium for the Cardinals' 2016 home opener. The Timberwolves are coming off a 28-3 defeat at home against Wayne State on Saturday afternoon.
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