Coming off the 2021 campaign with a 7-4 record, Saginaw Valley State University (SVSU) is living up to its predicted fourth-place finish in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC).
SVSU jumpstarted its season with a 72-0 win over West Virginia Wesleyan. In a game headlined as the Red Feather Classic, SVSU scored its most points in a single game since 1997.
SVSU held a major advantage at the line of scrimmage, gaining 31 total first downs compared to Wesleyan’s five.
The offense rolled to 502 total yards while picking up nearly 7 yards per play. Dante Barthwell led the Cardinals in rushing with 82 yards, including three touchdowns.
Colby Newburg added another 57 yards on the ground while finding his way into the end zone twice.
The running back room remained busy as fellow rushers Austin Bills, Tyler Amos and Isaiah Malcome all contributed one touchdown each. Not to mention QB Andrew Brito found the end zone as well with a 2-yard rushing touchdown.
The Cardinals rushing attack stole the show; however, its efficiency in the passing game allowed for a well-balanced offensive attack. Brito was 7 of 13 for 59 yards and Willie Taylor was 5 of 8 for 71 yards.
Taylor connected with Earnest Saunders IV on a 40-yard touchdown pass to extend the lead to 44-0.
On the defensive side of the ball, SVSU had Wesleyan’s offense at a standstill from whistle to whistle. Micah Cretsinger led SVSU in tackles with six and continues to build off a strong freshman year where he played in all 11 games for the Cardinals.
In the secondary, Michael Woolridge and Jacoby Sanders both added an interception of their own. Leonard Henry IV split the gaps and came away with the Cardinals’ only sack of the game.
In what was a lopsided affair, SVSU dominated on both sides of the ball. The Cardinals look to keep their momentum going as they prepare for a home game against Bowie State at 1 p.m. on Sept. 10.