Football team squeaks past Hillsdale 44-41

Saturdays game against West Texas A&M

Eric Coulter

Saturday’s game against West Texas A&M

Cody Eding

It was another close call. But at the end of the night, all that mattered was the final score.

For the second week in a row, a spectacular fourth-quarter play lifted the Grand Valley State University football team to victory. This time, the fireworks barely made it in before the final whistle.

With 16 seconds to play in the game and with GVSU trailing 41-36, Laker senior quarterback Kyle McMahon found junior receiver Jovonne Augustus in the back-left corner of the endzone for a leaping touchdown grab. The catch and ensuing two-point conversion ripped a 44-41 win out of the hands of visiting Hillsdale College.

The win improved GVSU’s record to 2-0 and 1-0 in the GLIAC.

After misfiring twice to Augustus on the final drive, McMahon found him from eight yards out on first-and-goal for the GVSU offense.

“When it came down to the wire, I just looked at Kyle and told him, ‘Just keep going to me; keep going to me. Just trust me Kyle,‘” said Augustus, who finished with four catches for 36 yards. “He just believed in me and I just went up to go get the ball.”

The Lakers battled back and forth with the visiting Chargers, playing to a near deadlock throughout much of the game. Still, when Hillsdale running back Joe Glendening crossed the goal line for a touchdown with 1:17 to play in the game, GVSU’s 26-game home winning streak appeared to be in doubt.

However, GVSU’s special teams broke through to block the Hillsdale’s extra point attempt. Linebacker Luther Ware scooped up the loose ball and rumbled the length of the field to give the Lakers two points and momentum heading into their final drive.

Hillsdale elected to squib the following kickoff, which allowed GVSU’s offense to take over at their own 47-yard line. McMahon engineered the nine-play scoring drive with no timeouts from there, completing a 10-yard pass to junior tight end Tony Carreri on fourth down to keep the drive alive at Hillsdale’s 37-yard line.

The Lakers’ defense struggled to contain Hillsdale’s offense throughout much of the game. Glendening gashed the GVSU for 224 yards and three touchdowns on 35 carries.

“We didn’t stop the run,” said GVSU head coach Matt Mitchell. “One, we were getting physically abused upfront and then secondly, our safeties and linebackers, they weren’t fitting stuff up very well at all. We had enough hats down in the box. We were getting whipped and weren’t fitting things up.”

McMahon completed 22 of 37 passes for 240 yards and the touchdown to Augustus. He did throw his first interception of the season, a third quarter turnover that led to a Hillsdale field goal.

The Lakers received big performances on the ground from both their quarterback and senior running back Justin Sherrod.

McMahon’s touchdown runs of five, 10 and 12 yards helped the Lakers take a 21-14 lead into

halftime. His three rushing touchdowns were the most by a GVSU quarterback since Brad Iciek rushed

for four against Central Washington University in the 2007 NCAA playoffs.

Sherrod scored on third-quarter rushes of 47 yards and one yard. He finished with 148 yards on 16 carries.

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Grand Valley State University 44, Hillsdale College 41

1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final

GVSU 7 14 13 10 44

Hillsdale 14 0 14 13 41

First Quarter

9:59 HC – Cam White 1 yd run (Colin McGreevy kick)

6:57 GVSU – Kyle McMahon 5 yd run (Jay Jandasek kick)

0:19 HC – Joe Glendening 1 yd run (McGreevy kick)

Second Quarter

12:52 GVSU – McMahon 10 yd run (Jandasek kick)

4:28 GVSU – McMahon 12 yd run (Jandasek kick)

Third Quarter

12:37 HC – Mike Blanchard 8 yd pass from Troy Weatherhead (McGreevy kick)

10:07 GVSU – Justin Sherrod 47 yd run (Jandasek kick)

6:39 HC – Glendening 10 yd run (McGreevy kick)

2:17 GVSU – Sherrod 1 yd run (Jandasek kick)

Fourth Quarter

13:31 HC – Anthony Mifsud 3 yd pass from Weatherhead (McGreevy kick)

1:17 HC – Glendening 7 yd run (McGreevy kick blocked)

1:17 GVSU – Luther Ware PAT return

0:16 GVSU – Jovonne Augustus 8 yd pass from McMahon (McMahon rush)