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 earns GLIAC championship, 38-0 victory over Davenport

GVL / Macayla Cramer

In their final regular season game of the year, the No. 2 ranked Grand Valley State University Lakers’ football team beat the No. 16 ranked Davenport University Panthers on senior day to clinch the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC)  title.

Moving to 9-1 on the season from the 38-10 victory, Lakers’ head coach Scott Wooster said it was fitting to clinch back-to-back conference championships on a day celebrating the team’s seniors.

“To do this on senior day, to go back-to-back for the first time since 2009-2010, it is a testament to who these guys are as players,” Wooster said. 

GVSU started fast on both sides of the ball to open the game. The Lakers’ defense held Davenport to a three-and-out on the opening possession, while the offense ran a trick play on the second play of their first possession.

Quarterback Cade Peterson handed the ball off to wide receiver Kyle Nott, who then threw it back across the field to Peterson for a 13-yard gain. The Lakers later capped off the drive when wide receiver Lynn Wyche-El ran it in from 18 yards out, giving the Lakers a 7-0 lead.

“They’re not trick plays to us. We’re trying to get the football down the field and go score. It’s who we are as coaches. It’s who we are as a program. We’re going to be aggressive. We’re going to have some fun,” Wooster said.

Nott scored the Lakers’ second touchdown of the day on a 29-yard rush in the second quarter for a 14-0 lead. The Lakers dominated the ground attack with 38 carries for 238 yards to the Panthers’ 30 carries for just 50 yards.

GVSU later drove 79 yards in eight plays for another touchdown halfway through the second quarter. On the drive, senior running back Tariq Reid rushed for 33 yards on four carries while Peterson rushed for 25 yards. Quarterback Avery Moore finished off the drive to expand the lead to 21-0 with a two-yard score.

Right before halftime, the Lakers’ defense forced a turnover deep in Davenport’s territory, leading to Reid’s first short-yardage touchdown run of the game in just three plays. 

The GVSU defense again forced another turnover early in the third quarter as junior safety Kobe Hayward forced a fumble that was recovered by defensive lineman Jack Gilchrist. Starting with the ball on the opponent’s three-yard line, all the Lakers needed was a run from Reid to give them a 35-0 lead. GVSU then added a late field goal to eventually win 38-0.

The GVSU defense dominated, forcing four turnovers and allowing just 187 yards of total offense and 10 first downs. They totaled eight tackles for a loss, three quarterback sacks, three forced fumbles and an interception. 

Sophomore linebacker Anthony Cardamone led the defense with five tackles, while defensive-end Christian McCarroll had four tackles, 2.5 tackles for a loss and a sack.

Linebacker Abe Swanson said getting turnovers was key to the defensive game plan throughout the season. 

“It’s definitely huge for this team. Creates a lot of momentum for us anytime we can get the ball in plus territory setting up the offense. I think we just had a mentality all year, we just executed our gameplan,” Swanson said.

Reid led the offense with 120 yards rushing and two TDs on 15 carries, while Peterson and Nott each contributed 29 yards rushing, with Nott rushing for a TD. Peterson completed 70% of his passes for 76 yards in the game. The Lakers threw the ball just 17 times to their 38 rushes.

GVSU aims to improve as they begin their quest for a national title next weekend.

“We haven’t put together a complete game yet. Every week we’re growing,” Swanson said. “Every opportunity is a new opportunity to be the best version of ourselves and I think that’s what you saw this week and that’s what you’ll see next week.” 

The Lakers await its playoff opponent which will be announced on on Sunday, Nov. 12 at 6 p.m. The first game will take place on Saturday, Nov. 18. 

As the No. 2 ranked team nationally, the Lakers are likely to host multiple games for the playoffs after clinching the GLIAC championship title.

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