MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University football team was looking for a win on Homecoming Saturday against Saginaw Valley State University. Saginaw Valley jumped out to a 17-6 lead after the first half then went ahead 24-6 before the Wildcats cut the lead to 24-21 with almost an entire fourth quarter to go. But in the end the Cardinals pulled out the win 38-21. The ‘Cats fall to 1-4 overall and in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC). Saginaw Valley improves to 3-2 overall and in the conference.
After 15 minutes of play the Cardinals were leading 9-0. Saginaw Valley scored on a one-yard run by Brandon Williams at 4:50 of the quarter. The extra point was good for the 7-0 lead. About a minute and a half later NMU punter Garrett Peck ran out of the end zone for a safety (3:11).
The ‘Cats got on the board at 13:13 of the second quarter when Dustin Brancheau caught a three-yard pass from Carter Kopach. Jon Laue’s extra point kick was blocked and the Cardinals returned it for a defensive PAT return. The Cardinals were now leading 11-6. With 30 seconds left on the clock before the half the Cardinals made the count 17-6 on a 20-yard pass from Stiefel to Carl Grimes.
At 10:40 of the third quarter Stiefel hooked up with Galen Stone for a seven-yard touchdown pass. The kick was good and the visiting team had a 24-6 lead. NMU had the next two scores to cut into the lead. Mark Bossuah scampered in from 35 yards out at 7:38 of the third quarter. Laue’s kick was good and the Saginaw Valley lead was down to 24-13.
Just seconds into the fourth quarter the ‘Cats answered again on a 23-yard pass from Kopach to Zach Nichols (14:54). Kopach ran it in for the two-point conversion and now we had a game at 24-21.
Saginaw Valley’s winning touchdown came on a 14-play 98-yard march that took almost eight minutes off the clock (7:52). Brandon Emeott scored from one-yard out with 3:01 left in the game. The kick was good and the Cardinals had a 10-point lead (31-21). About a minute later the Cardinals iced the game on a 27-yard interception return for a touchdown by Matt Black (2:06).
For the game, NMU gained 227 yards of total offense. On the ground the ‘Cats gained 138 yards and 89 yards in the air. The Cardinals tallied 401 yards of total offense for the day (214 yards on the ground and 187 yards in the air).
Bossuah led the ‘Cats with 85 yards on 19 carries. Kopach was 13-23-1 for 89 yards. Nichols hauled in eight of Kopach’s passes for 66 yards. Defensively the ‘Cats were led by Zach Gauthier with 13 total tackles (eight solo and five assisted) and an interception. Alex Grignon had nine total tackles as eight were solo.
The ‘Cats will spend the next two Saturdays away from Marquette. Next week (Oct. 11) NMU will take on Wayne State in the Motor City.
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Sports Information Director