Football wins in regular season finale

The senior players prepare for their very last game of the season in front of their home crowd against Michigan Tech University. Valley Vanguard Photo Editor | Justin Kruskie

The Saginaw Valley State University football team welcomed Michigan Tech University this past Saturday for a match up at Wickes Memorial Stadium. It was Senior Day as well as Military Appreciation Day for SVSU.

The Cardinals, coming off a road win at Northern Michigan, defeated the Huskies with a score of 35-30. This was the Cardinals second time defeating the Huskies this season, as it came out on top by a score of 35-13 in Houghton earlier in the season. With this season-ending victory, the Cardinals improved to 8-3 overall and 3-3 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC).

After a defensive-minded start for both teams, the game opened up offensively in the second half. QB Andrew Brito had an impressive game through the air, throwing for 324 yards while completing 27 of his career high 36 pass attempts.

Brito connected with WR Derrick Hinton Jr. for a 63-yard touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter. Hinton exploded for 203 yards and 13 receptions.

Fellow WR Casey Williams hauled in four receptions for 49 yards and TE Andrew Schroeder secured his two targets for 27 yards. The Cardinals receiving corps had six different players with multiple receptions.

Although most of the offensive attack was through the air, the Cardinals added to their lead by utilizing its run game. RB Isaiah Malcome rushed for a game high 46 yards on 11 carries and found the end zone on a 4-yard run late in the third quarter.

His running back counterpart Tyler Amos managed 39 yards on the ground and had a team high two trips to the end zone. QB Andrew Brito also contributed 25 yards on 10 rushing attempts.

Kicker Connor Luksic was five for five on extra point attempts and ended the season with an impressive PAT percentage of 95%. Luksic nailed 44 of his 46 extra point attempts on the season.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Cardinals remained a tough test for opposing offensive units. LB Trevor Nowaske had a team high 11 tackles and solidified himself as the season leader in tackles for SVSU.

LB Micah Cretsinger was all over the field on Saturday, adding five tackles, one forced fumble, and a 68-yard interception return for a touchdown. DT JuJuan Blankenship had two tackles of his own and recorded the Cardinals only sack of the game.

The Cardinals defense ended the game with an additional five tackles for loss and three pass breakups.

SVSU closed out the regular season with a statement win. The Cardinals proved itself to be amongst the top of the GLIAC conference and held its own throughout much of the season.

With the win, the Cardinals remain hopeful for a chance at a NCAA DII Playoff bid.

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