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HEADLINE: VanderLaan, Bulldogs rout GV

SUBHEAD: Lakers, ranked No. 2 in preseason, start 2015 season 0-3

From 9/20/14

By Jay Bushen

[email protected]

The Grand Valley State football team saw its season go from bad to worse in a rivalry game it had to have.

No. 17 Ferris State University torched GVSU 42-17 at Top Taggart Field on Saturday night after FSU junior quarterback Jason Vander Laan racked up 373 total yards and four passing touchdowns.

FSU moves to 3-0 with the win while GVSU, which was without starting quarterback Heath Parling, is 0-3.

“We’re not good enough right now,” said GVSU coach Matt Mitchell. “They’re better than us. It doesn’t matter who’s at quarterback. We can’t run the ball effectively, and the biggest problem we had tonight is we have nobody making plays down the field. No one’s making any plays in the receiving game.”

The game proved to be a lopsided affair as the Laker offense failed to keep up with FSU, which seemed to score at will after the first quarter. The Bulldogs finished with 496 total yards of offense, 200 more than GVSU.

GVSU started senior quarterback Isiah Grimes in the absence of Parling, who was sidelined with an injury. Grimes completed 14-of-34 passes for 199 yards, one touchdown and an interception.

“I knew I was going to start all week so I was prepared as I could be for tonight’s game, but I just didn’t play well enough,” Grimes said.

FSU got on the board first when Vander Laan threw a 31-yard touchdown strike to classmate Jake Lampman on the team’s second drive of the game.

GVSU answered when it got the ball back, as Grimes led the Lakers to an 11-play drive ending with an 8-yard touchdown scamper up the middle from junior running back Kirk Spencer.

Then, early in the second quarter, Vander Laan and Co. grabbed the lead again and never looked back.

The All-GLIAC quarterback made the most of a broken play, busting out a nifty 28-yard run to set up running back Jamaal Jackson for a 1-yard score.

GVSU sophomore kicker Joel Schipper made it 14-10 by connecting on a 21-yard field goal later in the quarter, but FSU extended its lead just before the end of the first half. Vander Laan hit wide receiver Shakur Sanders in the back of the end zone with 18 seconds left on the clock, making it 21-10 FSU.

“The biggest drive of the game was the one at the end of the first half,” Mitchell said. “We were loading up the box to stop him, but they beat us in the air.”

Vander Laan racked up 206 total yards in the half to go with the pair of touchdowns, while the GVSU offense totaled 143 yards as a team. Unfortunately for GVSU fans, the Frankfort, Ill. native was just getting started.

He threw another touchdown to Sanders less than two minutes into the second half – this time a 67-yard bomb – and duplicated the effort five minutes later with a 16-yard touchdown throw to Lampman to turn the game into a 35-10 blowout.

The teams exchanged touchdowns in the final minutes to make it a 42-17 final score.

The Lakers will look for their first win of the season Saturday when they host Lake Erie College (1-2) at Lubbers Stadium at 7 p.m.