GVSU tops Wayne State for the 24th straight time

GVL / Robert Mathews
Head Coach Matt Mitchell

GVL / Robert Mathews Head Coach Matt Mitchell

Bryce Derouin

Some things never change.

For the 24th consecutive time, the Grand Valley State University football (8-2, 6-2 GLIAC) team defeated Wayne State University (3-7, 3-6 GLIAC). This time, the Lakers kept its playoff hopes alive by posting its most impressive performance on the road, a 34-20 win.

It didn’t take long for GVSU to get on the scoreboard. The Lakers took the opening drive of the game 75 yards on seven plays, and capped off the scoring drive with a 19-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Heath Parling to sophomore tight end Jamie Potts.

In the second straight week, Parling and Potts both were efficient. Parling completed 11 of 24 passes for 240 yards passing and two touchdowns, while Potts caught three passes for 77 yards and the one score.

GVSU would strike again on its next possession, as senior wide receiver Brandan Green busted open the longest play of the game.

Facing a third-and-2 from its own 19, Parling found Green on the screen pass. From there, the offensive line and wide receivers opened up an alley for Green, who outran the Wayne State defense for the touchdown. Green finished the day with five catches and 119 yards and one touchdown.

It wouldn’t take long for Wayne State to respond. Senior Val Showers took the short kick, and returned it 85 yards for the touchdown to cut the GVSU lead to 14-7.

That would be the closest Wayne State would come for the rest of the game.

Freshman kicker Joel Schipper tacked on a 30-yard field goal to give the Lakers a two score lead, 17-7.

Wayne State put together an impressive drive of its own, but it stalled out and the Warriors were forced to attempt a field goal. After giving up the kickoff return touchdown earlier, the GVSU special teams redeemed itself. Junior defensive tackle Frank Boenzi got a hand on the kick, while senior Jordan Kaufman scooped up the ball and took it 56 yards for the touchdown to put GVSU up 24-7.

Similar to how GVSU started the first half, Wayne State took the first drive of the second half, and converted it into a touchdown. Junior Michael Johnson took the end-around 18 yards for the touchdown to make it a 24-14 GVSU lead.

Junior running back Ben Hutchins broke a few tackles on his way to a 7-yard touchdown, and Schipper tacked on his second field goal of the game—a 23-yard kick—to effectively put the game out of reach.

With the absence of junior running back Michael Ratay, senior Chris Robinson filled the void admirably. Robinson carried 21 times for 108 yards rushing.

The Laker offense gained 432 yards, while limiting the Warriors to only 300 yards of total offense, and forced Wayne State into five turnovers.

Senior cornerback Reggie Williams caught two interceptions, including an impressive one-handed grab to close out the first half and senior Erik Thompson recorded an interception of his own.

Junior cornerback DeVonte’ Jones and redshirt freshman Marquez Gollman both tallied fumble recoveries.

Kaufman and junior defensive end Matt Mosley led GVSU with nine tackles apiece.

The win sets the stage for a vital game next week in Allendale against Saginaw Valley State University (9-1, 9-0 GLIAC). A win for GVSU could mean a possible playoff berth.