Dragons on road again, face Cardinals

Tiffin’s three-week road trip to start the 2019 season hits its second stop today, as the Dragons return to Michigan to face another former Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference rival.

Saginaw Valley State, like Tiffin, comes into today’s 1 p.m. Kickoff having won its first game. It also is coming off a strong 8-3 2018.

“They’re a high quality program,”said Dragons coach Cris Reisert, who saw the Panthers quite a bit as an assistant at Ohio Dominican, which like Tiffin was in the GLIAC. They have 19-22 starters back, a new coaching staff, similar to ours. (The team) seems to have hit the ground running this season.”

SVSU took down Texas A&M-Kingsville 35-14 a week ago. In that game, the Cardinals’ quarterback, Ryan Conklin, was a standout. He completed 13 of 29 passes for 259 yards and three touchdowns. That included a 79-yard completion.

Those are the kind of things Reisert wants his team to try and prevent.

“We’re hoping to limit big plays on offense, eliminate those flash plays, just being able to weather adversity that comes with a game like this,”he said. “ur keys don’t change too much. Want to win the turnover battle, win turnover margin, and do something with turnovers.”

Tiffin had a number of big plays in last week’s 22-19 win over Northwood. Quarterback Nick Watson and new receiver Stanley Jackson connected seven times for 179 yards and a score. Watson had one of the best games of his career, throwing for 338 yards and two touchdowns without an interception.

Reisert said there’s a good chance the Cardinals will try to disrup the Watson-to-Jackson connection, but that could give opportunities to other players on offense.

“As door shuts for one guy, the door opens for another guy,”he said.

But what opponents do isn’t as big a deal to Reisert as what his squad does.

He was asked what the key to today’s game was.

“Really just focus on us, play football,”Reisert said. “I know that a cliché answer, but we want to be one percent better (at the end of) each day than when we started.”