UNIVERSITY CENTER, MICH. - The University of Findlay football team came away with a 29-27 win at #10 Saginaw Valley State University on Saturday, Sep. 15 in University Center, Mich. to improve to 2-0 on the season. The victory also gives them a 2-0 record in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) and improves head coach Rob Keys record to 3-0 on the road against ranked opponents.
The Oilers took the opening drive of the game 68 yards on six plays and scored when senior quarterback Clay Belton hit junior tight end Jaryd Brown on a 28-yard touchdown pass. The Oilers went for two and converted, but a holding call negated the play as junior Seth White tacked on an extra point.
The Cardinals tied the game at 7-7 at the 8:26 mark of the first quarter after scoring on a 75-yard drive before the Oilers marched down the field, eventually failing to convert a fourth and inches play at the Saginaw 15-yard line.
After a few failed possessions by both teams, the Oilers capitalized on a 10-play, 77-yard drive, which ended in a 20-yard touchdown scamper by red-shirt freshman running back Daiquone Ford. The Oilers again went for two, but failed to convert making the score 13-7 with 2:58 remaining in the opening half.
Saginaw Valley State scored on the opening drive of the second half to take a 14-13, but the Oilers answered when Belton connected with White on a 10-yard touchdown pass with 4:22 remaining in the third period. The Oilers went for two again after their score, but could not convert as they recaptured the lead at 19-14.
The Oilers defense forced a punt on the ensuing possession and got great field position as junior Demetrius Trapps came up with a 42-yard return. The return then set up another scoring drive for Findlay as senior running back Monterae Williams plunged into the end zone from one yard away to make the score 26-14 with 13:27 remaining in the game.
Not to be outdone, the Cardinals answered the Oilers score quickly as Jonathan Jennings came up with two big pass plays, one going for a 43-yard touchdown to Jeff Janis.
Leading 26-21 with 12:14 remaining in the contest, the Oilers drove the ball inside the Cardinals 10-yard line, but had a field goal blocked with 6:52 left in the fourth quarter. The Cardinals then took over and swiftly marched down the field for another touchdown and took a 27-26 lead with 5:26 to play after a missed two-point conversion attempt.
The Oilers offense, which was marching the ball up and down the field all game long, again came up huge as they got White into field goal range and a chance to win the game. White, who had his last attempt blocked, booted the ball through the middle of the uprights to take a 29-27 lead with only ten ticks showing on the clock.
The Cardinals made things interesting in the final ten seconds as they came up with another big pass play to set up a 54-yard field goal attempt by Scott Stanford, which fell just shy of the post.
Belton completed 32-of-42 passes for 335 yards and two touchdowns as his passing yardage was the second highest single game total in school history. His 32 pass completions were good enough however to establish a new school record.
Williams gained 131 yards and a touchdown on 29 carries while White caught seven passes for 103 yards and a score.
Brown added a team-high eight receptions for 80 yards and a score while sophomore receivers Nathan Morris and Lloyd Henry had 61 and 59 yards receiving, respectively.
Junior defensive back Jamon McClain had nine tackles to lead the defense while junior linebacker Kenny Klatt and senior linebacker Brandon Butler contributed seven stops apiece.
The Oilers racked up 518 yards of total offense on 83 plays and gained 30 first downs in the victory. They also possessed the ball for 39:36 and converted 6-of-14 third down conversions during the game.
The Oilers will be back on the field again next Saturday, Sep. 22 when they travel to Houghton, Mich. to face Michigan Technological University at 1 p.m.