GVSU shuts down Hillsdale in 46-14 win

GVSU shuts down Hillsdale in 46-14 win

Adam Knorr

With less than two minutes remaining in the second quarter, the Grand Valley State football team had a chance to get a statement score before the half.

Quarterback Bart Williams hit Matt Williams on a jump ball on third-and-7, and, a play later, Bart Williams zipped a slant pass to Jamie Potts for a touchdown.

The score helped put the Lakers up 21-14 going into the break. The conservative Hillsdale offense wasn’t able to muster up anything in the second half, and GVSU (4-1, 3-1 GLIAC) took the win 46-14 at Lubbers Stadium.

The Chargers (1-4, 1-3 GLIAC), as expected, pounded the ball on the ground throughout the game. Running back Bennett Lewis carried the ball 14 times, but the stout GVSU defense limited Lewis to just 24 yards.

“Eye control was a huge thing for us all week,” said defensive back Garrett Pougnet. “We knew we had to clean up the run. I think we did an excellent job of that and ’11 as one’ is our motto and everyone did their job.”

On the first drive in the second half, GVSU marched down the field and ended with a touchdown pass from Bart to Matt Williams. Soon after, a botched snap on a Hillsdale punt led to a safety, and the Lakers turned on cruise control.

GVSU has had trouble in the third quarter this season, but the Lakers set those woes aside for the last two weeks. GVSU outscored Hillsdale 22-0 in the third quarter.

Freshman running back Martayveous Carter returned to the Lakers in full health, and had the best game of his young career. Carter had eight carries for 102 yards, including a swift 33-yard touchdown run.

“I was a little concerned pre-game with the weather and some of those things with a freshman tailback about how he’s going react because we haven’t had a lot of wet weather,” said GVSU head coach Matt Mitchell. “He stepped up and did a good job. We leaned on Marty and he had a couple explosive runs.”

Matt Williams opened the scoring midway through the first quarter, shaking, baking and busting his way to a 61-yard punt return touchdown.

Hillsdale struck back on the first play of the second quarter as wide receiver Joe Srebernak pulled in a 17-yard touchdown pass from quarterback C.J. Mifsud to tie the score at 7-7.

GVSU’s next two scores came from the Bart Williams to Potts combo. Williams had a 5-yard pass tipped in the end zone, but Potts twisted, caught the ball and got a foot in bounds to give the Lakers a 14-7 lead.

Nine minutes later, Williams hit Potts on a seven-yard slant with a minute left in the half to put GVSU ahead 21-7.

“It’s pretty easy when he catches basically everything you throw to (Potts),” Bart Williams said. “It wasn’t really much of a learning curve when he came back.”

The Lakers got the ball back in the half, but it turned disastrous. Williams threw a deep ball over the middle, where it was intercepted by a Hillsdale’s Spencer Nehls and returned to the one-yard line. On the next play, Mifsud crossed the plane on a rush to bring Hillsdale within a score at 21-14 as the first half closed out.

The Lakers dominated the second half. Touchdowns from Matt Williams and Carter, two Joel Schipper field goals and a safety put the game out of reach before the fourth quarter rolled around.

Schipper nailed field goals of 37, 29 and 24 yards. The three field goals in one game is a career-high for the junior placekicker.

Bart Williams finished 19 for 32 for 156 yards, three touchdowns and an interception.

Potts caught four passes for 45 yards and two touchdowns. Matt Williams had five catches for 42 yards and a score.

Hillsdale gained just 137 total yards – only 18 in the second half.

“Other than one defensive drive, I thought our defense was really dominant tonight,” Mitchell said. “Obviously (we) held a team that has kind of built themselves up running the ball to 53 yards rushing. I thought we were very effective in controlling the line of scrimmage. We didn’t give up a lot of big plays, good job by our defense all night.”

The Lakers used three quarterbacks in the contest, as Ollie Ajami and Ryan West both saw time. Pougnet recorded nine tackles to lead the Lakers, and junior Alton Voss added seven.

Hillsdale has not won at Lubbers Stadium since Oct. 30, 1993.

GVSU returns to action Oct. 10 with an away tilt at Wayne State (2-3, 1-3 GLIAC) at 6 p.m.