One play into the second quarter, junior Dylan Chadwick blocked Jonathon Jennings punt attempt, and Jayron Robinson scooped it on the way to a Northwest touchdown. Saginaw responded with a score two possessions later, but Bearcat running back Robert Burton III found the end zone to bounce the deficit back to 11 points.
Brandon Dixon put the exclamation point on the half with just ten seconds left in the quarter. The Cardinals were set to attempt a field goal on fourth down, but the snap was botched and Saginaw's Scott Stanford fumbled it. Dixon picked up the loose ball and cruised 70 yards to lift Northwest to a 35-17 lead at the break.
Senior quarterback Trevor Adams did his part for the green and white throwing for 285 yards and a touchdown on 15-20 passing and 39 yards rushing. On his lone touchdown pass, Adams had a quick three-step drop and fired a bullet to Clint Utter on the hitch route. Utter made the grab, made his defender miss and sprinted 70 yards into the end zone.
Utter's touchdown reception Thursday night was 14 more yards than he had all of last season.
Billy Creason led the Northwest running game with 55 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries. Burton picked up 51 yards on the ground and two scores on ten carries.
The Bearcats did lose a pair of players in the first half. Robinson left the game after his special teams touchdown. He watched the second half from the sideline in a soft cast. Defensive back Brian Dixon was on the sideline after halftime wearing a walking boot.
Despite not having a pair of playmakers, the Northwest defense only allowed one second half touchdown, and forced a total of three turnovers.
The Bearcats next game comes September 14th when they host Central Missouri.