Findlay, OH – The University of Findlay football team picked up their fifth straight season opening win with a 37-19 victory over the Cardinals of Saginaw Valley State. With the Saturday, September 3 victory, the Oilers begin their season with a 1-0 record overall and also in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) play.
Saginaw received the ball to begin the game but was forced to punt after a quick three-and-out from the Oilers defense.
The first offensive possession of the season for Findlay was a methodical 16 play, 72 yard drive that ended on a 12 yard touchdown scramble from junior Chauncey Bridges. On the drive, junior quarterback Rhys Gervais completed all four of his passes while Bridges rushed for 22 yards. The point-after attempt was blocked.
After the defense forced a turnover on downs, the Oilers got the ball back and traveled 64 yards on six plays, capped by a 37 yard touchdown pass from Gervais to junior Jason Moore, giving the home team a 13-0 lead.
On the ensuing kickoff, senior Tyler Bugeja dropped the ball on the Cardinals' 33 yard line. The first player to the ball was Findlay native Jordan Jackson, giving the Oilers another possession to begin the second quarter. That possession ended with Gervais' second touchdown pass of the game, this time to his tight end, junior Anthony Federico. The score gave the Oilers a commanding 20-0 lead. That lead would last into the half.
In the first half, Gervais completed his first 11 passes and eventually finished the game 24-for-31.
Findlay pushed their lead to 27-0 out of the break after another touchdown pass from Gervais to Federico.
After scoring a touchdown in the third and a pair of touchdowns in the fourth, the Cardinals appeared to have some life, but with 10:27 to play in the game, the Oilers went on a 16 play, eight and a half minute drive. It ended with a turnover on downs, but all but ended the Cardinals chances of making a comeback.
Gervais began 2016 where he left off in 2015 as he completed his 24 passes for 274 yards and three touchdowns, two of which went to his tight end Federico.
Bridges was the leading rusher as picked up 101 yards on 25 carries while wide receiver Dylan Blunk also had 101 yards of offense. Those yards came on eight catches.
The Oilers are back in action on Saturday, September 10 when they take on Ohio Dominican in Findlay. That game will begin at 7:00pm.