The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

GV football defeats Kentucky State 65-7 a week before Ferris face off

GVL / Macayla Cramer

It was community night for the Grand Valley State University Lakers football team, but there was nothing communal about the 65-7 smattering that they gave the Kentucky State University Thorobreds. It was the most points the Lakers had scored since they beat Lincoln University 66-7 in week three of 2022.

If going up against the number four team in the nation was not already hard enough, the Thorobreds put themselves in a hole to begin the game.

Lakers’ linebacker Anthony Cardamone read the eyes of the KSU quarterback Christian Perez, stepping in front of his intended receiver, to snag an interception on just the second play of the game. Five plays later, GVSU took a 7-0 lead following a 10-yard touchdown run by Tariq Reid. 

The Lakers’ quarterback Cade Peterson had a phenomenal start, going seven-for-seven passing for 132 yards and two touchdowns in less than 20 minutes of game action, while his defense allowed -22 rushing yards on 21 carries. 

GVSU put up 44 points in the first half, 20+ in each quarter. GVSU dominated KSU in what became a tune-up game before they faced arch-rival Ferris State University for the Anchor-Bone trophy the following week. 

“This game is sandwiched right in between the Battle of the Valleys and the Anchor Bone. I just felt like our seniors, our leaders, set a tone this week that we are not going to be an up-and-down team. That we are gonna play with a consistent level of Grand Valley State football, and we saw that,” GVSU head coach Scott Wooster said.

The Lakers got everything they wanted with a balanced attack offensively. Early in the game, Peterson dropped a pass in the bucket for Kyle Nott for a 47-yard score. Nott has been a key member of the 2023 GVSU squad, and it was a special night of reflection for him.

“It kind of was always a dream of mine to play here, so to kind of live that and have it become a reality is really cool,” Nott said.

The long score stretched the GVSU lead to 14-0, which was one of several deep completions for the Lakers as a whole. The four quarterbacks who played: Peterson, Avery Moore, Alex Thole and Vincenzo Meschi all completed passes of 20 or more yards. The scoring had just begun for the Lakers in an effort that saw the Thorobreds struggle mightily on both sides of the ball in a 58-point decision.

Shortly after a Gavin Cossou touchdown catch from Peterson, Lakers’ senior defensive lineman Christian McCarroll forced a safety by sacking Perez.

“When you have the best coaches in the country, it is very easy to execute a game plan that you practice all week,” said Lakers’ senior linebacker Abe Swanson. “When we execute on all levels this defense is very dominant. It showed tonight.”

The next offensive play was a 68-yard run by Nott that set up a unique moment. The Lakers’ senior left tackle Jordan Davis proceeded to rumble in a 1-yard touchdown on a backward pass from Peterson to bring the lead to 30 points. 

“I had a celebration ready and everything and I didn’t get to none of that because I got tackled. It felt good, actually. I’ve never been in the endzone in my life. To feel how a running back feels on every day, that was amazing,” Davis said.

Davis said the team had practiced the play all week. Wooster said he had been trying to use it in a game since 2020 before he was even the head coach.

“We’ve been begging for that for a few years. Maybe it’s ‘O-line coach is the head coach now.’ So we can make those calls,” Wooster said. “J.D. (Jordan Davis) has meant so much to this program. His leadership and what he does for this football team and what he does for me, just to see him get in the endzone that is so special man. For the brand, for all of us o-linemen to get in the endzone, but especially for J.D. It means the world to us.”

From that moment on, emptying the bench was a hallmark of the game, as the GVSU lead motivated Wooster to put his backup in with over 10 minutes left in the half. Moore found redshirt freshman WR Donovan Johnson for a 36-yard score moments later, as GVSU offensive coordinator Matt Vitzthum was not letting up on the Thorobreds.

During the game several Lakers who hardly see the field got playing time. All but 15 players on the Lakers’ roster saw game action, many players first in their careers. At QB, Thole came in after Moore, later to be replaced by Meschi. Meschi was joined in his first career action by freshman running backs Kenneth Jones and Pascale Jolman among other players. Jones took his first seven career carries for 95 yards and a touchdown.

“So proud of a lot of young guys. A lot of them in their first time in that atmosphere playing in Lubbers under the lights. Super proud of their effort to finish this game in the right way,” Wooster said.

The Lakers had four first-career touchdowns for the game, with nine total players scoring. Junior running back Sam Plate, Jones, Meschi and Stone Smeenge all scored. Then there was one more touchdown on what was likely the most impressive play of a highlight-filled night.

A drive after KSU’s only score of the game, the Lakers blocked Thorobreds kicker Mason Molique’s 57-yard field goal attempt before halftime. With junior defensive back Grant Hart standing back for a possible return, he picked up the blocked kick near his 10-yard line, running it back for a touchdown.

The second half was relatively uneventful, but the halftime show was not. GVSU celebrated “Community Night” during the evening with multiple local high schools participating alongside the Lakers’ marching band. KSU also put on their own portion of the halftime show as they traveled with their band for the game.

The Lakers shut the Thoroughbreds out after the half.

Wooster feels very good about where his team is heading into their biggest matchup of the season against FSU.

“To me, the way we attacked this week and (how) we started this week and finished this football game, tells us everything I need to know about who we’re going to be next week too,” Wooster said.

The Lakers take on their nemesis and number one overall D2 team in the nation, FSU at Lubbers Field in Allendale, Mich. on Saturday, Oct.14 at 3 p.m. in yet another top-five matchup between the programs.

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About the Contributor
Nelson Hubbell
Nelson Hubbell, Sports Editor
Nelson Hubbell is the Sports Editor for the Lanthorn for the 2023-2024 school year. A senior at Grand Valley State University, before his time with the Lanthorn, he was a staff writer for The Collegiate Live, Grand Rapids Community College's student publication where he was a student for two years. He worked for a restaurant for four and a half years in Holland, Mich. called Hops at 84 East, a place he holds close to his heart. During his time there he was a manager for roughly two years. He loves camping, hiking and being outside in general. He is super passionate about football, basketball, baseball and hockey and loves all things sports and competition. Nelson will be pursuing a career in sportscasting as a play-by-play broadcaster and or as an analyst after his time at GVSU. Graduating Winter 2024 Major: Multimedia Journalism