UNIVERSITY CENTER - Northern Michigan University's two-game football winning streak ended with a thud when the Wildcats lost 52-17 at nationally ranked Saginaw Valley State University on Saturday.
While the Wildcats slipped to 3-6 overall and in the GLIAC North Division, 19th-ranked SVSU clinched the division for the third straight year, improving to 9-1 overall and 9-0 in the GLIAC.
The Cardinals' offense was based around receiver Jeff Janis, who caught eight passes for 230 yards and four touchdowns, including a 95-yarder that began a 31-point barrage by Saginaw in the second quarter.
With Janis leading the way, Cardinals quarterback Jonathon Jennings was the model of efficiency, completing 12 of 22 passes for 280 yards. SVSU outgained Northern, 494-299.
While Wildcats rushers were limited to just 36 yards, NMU QB Shaye Brown completed 22 of 46 passes for 263 yards but two interceptions. One of those pickoffs was returned by the Cards' Jon Bryant 45 yards for a TD midway through the second quarter.
Janis kicked off the scoring with the only TD of the first quarter, a 31-yard pass from Jennings, before the 'Cats bounced back on the next drive with a 26-yard field goal by John Oberheide to make it 7-3.
The Cardinals then posted six unanswered scores, beginning with the long pass play to Janis. They got it to 38-3 by halftime, adding a 50-yard field goal by Scott Stanford, the interception return by Bryant, a 3-yard run by Mark Mays and another Janis TD reception of 28 yards.
Northern scored its first TD in the third quarter when Brown found Christian Jessie with a 6-yard pass, and scored the only points of the fourth quarter on another TD pass to Jessie, this one of 9 yards early in the period.
The Wildcats close out the season in Big Rapids at noon Saturday when they take on Ferris State.