SVSU fails to recapture Axe
Cardinals give up almost 400 yards in 28-10 loss
October 1, 2007 —
The Cardinals had a chance to get the Axe back Saturday, but they dropped the ball. Five times.
Northwood capitalized on two of SVSU's five turnovers with two 22-yard touchdown runs within 1:28 of each other during the third quarter Saturday en route to a crushing 28-10 victory in Midland.
The Timberwolves piled up 384 rushing yards, including 199 in the decisive second half, and 462 yards total as they blew out the Cards for the second consecutive season.
"You just can't fumble and throw interceptions against a good team like that," Cardinals coach Randy Awrey said.
Senior quarterback Chris Dougherty threw three interceptions and lost a fumble and junior Matt Black muffed a punt, giving the opportunistic Timberwolves more than enough chances to put the game away.
The Cards trailed 7-3 early in the third quarter and forced NU into a three-and-out, but the Timberwolves' Armon Turner recovered Black's fumble at the SVSU 22. The Wolves ran the option to perfection on the next play, as quarterback Spencer Klukowski pitched the ball to wingback Casey Steffen 10 yards down the field, and Steffen did the rest, racing to the pylon to give NU an insurmountable lead.
On the Cards' next series, Dougherty missed receiver Brian Kern and instead found NU's Dexter Reid, who returned the interception 10 yards to the SVSU 43. Redshirt freshman Galen Stone committed a late hit on Reid, giving the Wolves the ball on the 28 after the penalty.
Two plays later, fullback Torris Childs took the handoff up the middle 22 yards for another score.
The Cards lost two starters on defense to injury before the scoring spree and three total for the game.
"After a while, you get tired," said Awrey, who lost senior safety Mark Miller early in the first quarter and junior corner Michael McClenney in the second quarter.
Senior linebacker Derek Volmering was also lost in the fourth quarter, but by then the game was already decided.
Dougherty responded after the Wolves' two scores and guided the Cards to a nine-play, 70-yard drive to bring the score to 21-10 with 3:24 left in the third. He connected with senior Ric Cottengim on a 10-yard pass to cap the drive.
The drive was seemingly halted on second-and-nine from the NU 28, when Dougherty was hit from behind and dropped the ball in front of him. The Wolves recovered the apparent fumble, but the officials ruled an incomplete pass on the play. Three plays later Dougherty found Cottengim, who muscled his way to the goal line for the score.
Northwood was not about to let another miracle happen on its home field, though. Two years ago Dougherty found Cottengim for a 69-yard touchdown with less than a minute left for a 9-7 victory. The Timberwolves muscled their way to another score, rushing on all 11 plays of a 70-yard drive that took 5:25 off the clock.
Down 18 again, Dougherty drove the Cards down to the NU 15. Faced with a fourth-and-four, though, he threw into coverage and was intercepted by Simon Cholometes, who returned the ball to the NU 31.
The Wolves ran out the clock from there, using a 18-play, 66-yard drive to eat up the final 10:52 of the clock.
Childs finished the game with 185 yards on 31 carries to lead the Wolves, while the quarterback Klukowski rushed for 79 yards on 25 carries. Steffen rushed 11 times for 71 yards and two scores, while receiver Antoine Ivy gained 49 yards on four carries.
"They played well. They made some great adjustments at halftime," Awrey said.
Dougherty finished with 251 yards through the air on 27-of-41 passing, breaking the school record for completions with his 18th completion of the game. The offense was bogged down by an anemic running game, which gained just 19 yards on 18 carries.
Both teams now stand at 3-2 in the GLIAC and overall. SVSU hosts the University of Findlay, 1-2 in the conference and 2-2 overall, for Homecoming on Saturday.