Lakers top Northwood 35-21

Senior quarterback Kyle McMahon sets up the offense

Cody Eding

Senior quarterback Kyle McMahon sets up the offense

Cody Eding

A 21-0 halftime lead proved vital for the Grand Valley State University football team Saturday night at Lubbers Stadium.

After jumping out to a three touchdown advantage and looking dominant in the first half on Senior Day, the No. 8 Lakers allowed Northwood University to pull within a score during the fourth quarter. GVSU, however, never lost control of the game and prevailed for a 35-21 victory.

“I’m proud of our team; I’m proud of our kids,” said GVSU head coach Matt Mitchell after his team improved to 9-1 (8-1 GLIAC). “Northwood was fighting. I mean they were hitting hard and they were really running well … That’s a good win.”

Senior quarterback Kyle McMahon scampered 27 yards for a touchdown with just less than eight minutes to play in the final period to secure the victory and to cap a tremendous rushing night for the Lakers.

GVSU rushed for 354 yards as a team against Northwood after gaining only 16 yards on the ground in last week’s 20-17 loss to Michigan Technological University. Senior running back Justin Sherrod paced the Lakers with 141 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries and moved into 18th place on GVSU’s all-time rushing list. Sophomore running back Norman Shuford added 118 yards on 14 attempts, and McMahon had 92 yards and the touchdown on eight rushes.

“That last week, the 16 yards rushing, was in our head all week long,” said Sherrod. “A lot of the credit goes to our o-line. I mean, we’re running through, hitting the second level untouched because our o-line was just moving their d-line all over the field. Most of the credit goes to them.”

Junior safety Zach Breen had 11 tackles and a sack to lead the defense. Senior defensive lineman Steve Gawronski added 10 tackles and two sacks.

Northwood’s offense tallied negative yards in the first quarter but finished with 384 total yards. The Timberwolves did all of their damage in the second half, gashing the GVSU defense with touchdown runs of 49, 32 and 27 yards.

“I have to give their line all of the credit in the world,” said Gawronski. “They came out and they weren’t scared of us at all. They were ready to hit us in the mouth. It was just trying to match that physicality and keep fighting every play.”

Three touchdowns in the first quarter gave the Lakers a 21-0 lead at halftime.

McMahon completed an eight-play, 80-yard drive opening drive by finding junior wide receiver Greg Gay wide open in the back of the end zone for a 13-yard score. Gay finished with three catches for 74 yards.

Sherrod somersaulted over the line for a two-yard touchdown run with 4:53 to play in the first quarter and tacked on a 15-yard scoring run in the third quarter.

Junior wide receiver Jovonne Augustus nabbed a McMahon fade pass for a one-yard score with less than 30 seconds to play in the opening period. The touchdown was Augustus’ only score of the game.

GVSU honored 16 senior players before the game. The 2010 senior class is 39-2 in regular season play.


Grand Valley State University 35, Northwood University 21

GVSU 21 0 7 7 – 35
NU 0 0 7 14 – 21

First Quarter
11:02 GVSU – Greg Gay 13 yd pass from Kyle McMahon (Ryan Stokes kick)
4:53 GVSU – Justin Sherrod 2 yd run (Stokes kick)
0:25 GVSU – Jovonne Augustus 1 yd pass from McMahon (Stokes kick)
Third Quarter
9:32 NU – Anthony Brandon 49 yd run (Pat Sijan kick)
1:40 GVSU – Sherrod 15 yd run (Stokes kick)
Fourth Quarter
13:03 NU – Cameron Jackson 32 yd run (Sijan kick)
11:25 NU – Brandon 27 yd run (Sijan kick)
7:46 GVSU – McMahon 27 yd run (Stokes kick)