UNIVERSITY CENTER, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University football team came close to winning its third game of the year, but came up a bit short against Saginaw Valley State on Saturday afternoon. Down 28-21 at the half, the Wildcats never gave up and dropped a 37-35 score to the Cardinals. The loss was the first for the ‘Cats on the season as they are now 2-1 overall and in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC). SVSU, ranked 11th in the nation this week, improves to 3-1 overall and in the conference.
The Cardinals struck first at 9:19 of the first quarter and took the early 7-0 lead. Mark Bossuah put the ‘Cats on the board by finding his way into the end zone from three yards out with 4:45 showing on the clock in the first quarter, the extra point was good and the game was tied at seven. The Cardinals did not waste any time in taking the lead again as they went five plays in 73 yards to take the lead, 14-7, with 2:37 left in the first quarter. The drive was capped off when Rick Cottengim caught a 24-yard TD pass from Chris Dougherty.
Bossuah scored his second TD of the day at 12:39 of second quarter from one yard out and with the good extra point the score was 14-all. Dougherty and Cottengim again hooked up for a 24-yard TD strike at 7:47 of the second quarter to take the 21-14 lead. A little over four minutes later Buddy Rivera found Zach Nichols for a 22-yard touchdown pass and the game was tied again with the good extra point at 21-all. The Cardinals struck just before the end of the half to take the lead into the locker room when Joe Dougherty caught a 13-yard pass from Dougherty with 35 ticks left on the clock. The extra point was good.
Brad Anderson scored the lone TD in the third quarter. He found pay dirt from one-yard out with 3:50 left in the quarter. Jon Laue’s extra point kick was good and the game was tied once again at 28-all.
SVSU took the 30-28 lead when they sacked Rivera for a 10-yard loss and the safety at 8:38 of the fourth quarter. The Cardinals made the score 37-28 when Toby Goetz scored from one-yard out with 4:05 left in regulation. With less than two minutes left in the game (1:44) Rivera hooked up with Dan Elmore for a 10-yard score and with the good extra point the ‘Cats were now down 37-35. The ‘Cats tried the on-side kick, but were not success as SVSU recovered the ball on the NMU 43-yard line.
NMU won all the stat categories as they had more first downs than the Cardinals (24-19), yards rushing (145-143), yards passing (304-302), total offense (449-445) and time of possession (32:36-27:24).
Rivera ended the game with 304 yards passing on 20-27-0 with two TDs. He has yet to throw an interception this season. Elmore had a career-day with eight receptions for 134 yards and a TD. Anderson led the ‘Cats on the ground with 71 yards on 21 carries. Nicholas Bloch led the ‘Cats on the defensive side with 10 total tackles (five solo and five assisted).
NMU will be at home for the first time in almost a month next Saturday (Sept. 30) when Ferris State will be the opponent for the Homecoming/Hall of Fame Game.
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Sports Information Director