Football falls just short against the nation’s top team

Richard Bowens III celebrates after the Cardinals offense scores its first touchdown of the game against the Ferris State Bulldogs. Vanguard Photographer | Anna Alexander

Saginaw Valley State University hosted Ferris State University this past Saturday in a crucial conference football matchup held at Wickes Stadium.

SVSU controlled nearly the entire second half against the nation’s top ranked team, but No.1 Ferris State found the endzone with just over a minute remaining. The No. 25-ranked Cardinals took the field with a chance to complete the comeback, however, the Bulldogs remained stout and came out on top.

The Cardinals managed 247 yards of total offense against the stingy Bulldogs defense. QB Andrew Brito completed 11 of his 21 pass attempts for 168 yards and two touchdowns. Fellow QB Colby Newburg also completed his lone pass attempt for a 21-yard gain.

Offensive lineman Connor Cracchiolo protects the quarterback against the Ferris State Bulldogs pass rush attempt. Vanguard Photographer | Anna Alexander

Eight different Cardinals tallied a reception over the course of the game. WR Earnest Sanders IV led the Cardinals receiving corps with four catches for 62-yards and a 29-yard touchdown pass late in the second quarter.

RB Nick Johnson hauled in his only target of the game and came away with a 43-yard touchdown during the Cardinals opening drive. WR Casey Williams added two receptions for 40-yards and TE Andrew Schroeder managed a 27-yard completion of his own.

The Cardinals rushing attack struggled to find momentum due to the aggressive pass rush of Ferris State. RB Isaiah Malcome led the Cardinals offense in rushing attempts and yards with 17 carries and 44 total yards.

QB Andrew Brito rushed for four yards on his 15 attempts and found his way into the endzone twice.

Defensive lineman Clarence Corbett reacts to the snap and goes head to head with the Ferris State Bulldogs offense. Vanguard Photographer | Anna Alexander

Kicker Connor Luksic converted on all four of his PAT attempts and has now made 24 of 25 on the season.

The Cardinals defense caused troubles for the Bulldogs offense from whistle to whistle. LB Trevor Nowaske had a season high 15 tackles and came away with his third interception of the season.

Defensive backs Michael Woolridge, Alfred Dailey Jr., and Nik Whiteside remained busy in the secondary with a combined 24 tackles. DT Victor Nelson logged four tackles, one forced fumble, and recorded the Cardinals only sack of the day.

The Cardinals proved to be a worthy opponent, holding their own against the highly touted Ferris State Bulldogs. SVSU will look to build off this encouraging performance next weekend as they host Indianapolis during its homecoming weekend. Kickoff is Saturday, Oct. 15 at 2 p.m.

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