Cardinal football players Chad Gailliard and Heath Williams were named to the Conference Commissioner’s Association All-Super Region 3 Football Second Team.
Gailliard, a sophomore wide receiver from Edsel Ford High School, led the entire GLIAC in receptions (63), touchdowns (12), yards (1,005) and yards per game (91.4). His ability to separate himself from defenders and create ashy plays downfield contributed greatly to the overall success of the team, which finished 8-3 overall and 5-3 in the GLIAC.
“Chad proved to once again be a dominant playmaker,” head coach Jim Collins said. “He drew double coverage on a consistent basis and was still very difficult for teams to handle.”
The 6-foot-3-inch, 205-pound playmaker posted a career-high three touchdowns versus Northern Michigan University this fall and also had game-winning touchdown receptions in back-to-back victories over Truman (21-20) and Wayne State (35-29) in the third and fourth games of the season, flexing his abilities in the clutch and helping the Cardinals to keep a perfect record at that point in time.
The very next week, at Michigan Tech, Gailliard scored the only touchdown in a game that ended 10-0, improving the streak to 5-0.
Gailliard was named to the All-GLIAC First Team at the conclusion of the season.
“We had a good season this past year,” Gailliard said. “But we know that the best is yet to come, and we are ready to kick it into that next level. I’m happy with the success I was able to have thus far these past two seasons playing, and I’m ready to finish way stronger than I started.”
Williams, a junior defensive tackle out of East Lansing High School, also finished at the top of the GLIAC with two of his personal statistics. His 13 sacks and 19 tackles for loss were more than any other player in the conference.
“Heath had a tremendous season,” Collins said. “To be able to lead the league in sacks as an interior lineman is an incredible accomplishment. He was a force who was very consistent in making big plays every week.”
The 6-foot-2-inch, 291-pound anchor summed 56 tackles on the year, helping Saginaw Valley hold opponents to just 16.6 points per game. With this measure, the Cardinals had the second best defense in the GLIAC.
Williams posted his season-best seven tackles in the tight overtime victory over Wayne State. He matched his best in another overtime win over Davenport in the last game of the season, where he also forced a fumble and registered a daunting 3.5 sacks.
Williams was also named to the All-GLIAC First Team.
“I credit some of my success to the other three starters on the defensive line [David Still, Patrik Moriarty and Jacob Dorn], and the rest of the defensive line unit for allowing me to be in a position to succeed,” Williams said. “I’m very excited to get out there [next season] and end my career on a high note for both me as a player and for the team.”