Score: Saginaw Valley 28, Walsh 0
Records: SVSU (2-0) | Walsh (0-2)
Location - Harvey Randall Wickes Memorial Stadium - University Center, Mich.
UNIVERSITY CENTER -- The SVSU Football team opened its 2017 home schedule with the final non-conference tilt of the season against the Walsh University Cavaliers. The Cardinals overcame a few early miscues, pairing a stout defensive effort and great depth on offense to post a 28-0 shutout over the Cavaliers on Saturday afternoon.
It was the first shutout for Saginaw Valley since the 2004 season, when the Cardinals posted a 45-0 victory over Wayne State on Sep. 11 in Detroit.
The game got off to a rough start for the Cardinal offense, which lost fumbles on the first three drives of the contest.
SVSU got on the board first at the 4:20 marker of the second quarter, as Nate McCrary found the endzone for his first career score on a two yard run that capped an eight play, 79 yard drive. Alex Kenrick's first of four extra points made the score 7-0.
After a Walsh punt, the Cards went on another solid drive, going 10 plays and 80 yards to score again. The lead grew to 14-0 after Ryan Conklin found Alfonso Vultaggio wide open in the left corner of the endzone, connecting on a 25 yard touchdown play with just one second left in the opening half.
The next score came when SV got the ball with 8:33 showing in the third at its own 20 yardline. The first play saw Conklin connect with Chad Gailliard, who turned and sprinted past the defense for an 80 yard score. Another Kenrick PAT made the lead 21-0.
Saginaw Valley got its last touchdown in the fourth quarter, going on a six play, 45 yard drive that pushed the lead out to 28-0. Nate Moore broke open for a 24 yard rush, setting the home team up with a first and goal at the four yardline. Two plays later, McCrary punched in another touchdown from two yards out to finish the game's scoring.
The Cardinal defense stayed steady throughout, totaling three turnovers in helping seal the shutout victory.
Inside the Boxscore
- Saginaw Valley outgained Walsh by a 525-129 margin in total offense, with the Cardinal defense allowing just 45 yards passing and 84 rushing.
- Walsh was forced to punt nine times in the contest.
- Conklin finished 17-of-26 passing for a career-high 294 yards and two touchdowns.
- Moore totaled 126 yards on 18 carries, going over the century mark on the ground for the first time in a Cardinal uniform.
- McCrary had 68 yards on 12 touches with his first two SVSU scores.
- Gailliard had a new career-best 124 yards receiving on just three catches with his second-ever receiving touchdown.
- Vultaggio had his first touchdown of the season, grabbing five passes for 65 yards.
- Donnell Alexander and Jared Stephens each picked-off their first career passes in the contest as well.
- Dillon Dixon and Bryce Anderson each recorded a team-high seven tackles.
- Austin Egler matched a career-high with five tackles, two of which were tackles for loss for 11 negative yards.
- Jack Jennings had four stops and a forced fumble.
- Jack McKillop had a career-best five tackles and Michael Alexander added five as well.
Meijer Player of the Game
The SVSU Defense was selected for the honor after posting the program's first shutout victory in 13 years.
The Cardinals travel to play at Wayne State Saturday (Sep. 16) in a 6:00 p.m. matchup. It's the GLIAC opener for both teams, as Wayne State is playing Indianapolis in its final non-league matchup Saturday evening.
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