GV has no trouble against rival Ferris State

GVL Archive / Eric Coulter
Quarter Back Kyle McMahon prepares for the snap during a past game

GVL Archive / Eric Coulter Quarter Back Kyle McMahon prepares for the snap during a past game

Cody Eding

Best said through the words of the losing coach, the Grand Valley State University football team took a step forward Saturday afternoon.

A week after surrendering 23 points and 494 yards of total offense to then winless Lake Erie College, the Lakers responded with an outstanding performance and the team’s first shutout since 2008 in the 41-0 blanking of rival Ferris State University Saturday.

“You’ve got to give some credit to Grand Valley,” said Ferris State coach Jeff Pierce. “That’s a high-horsepower football team, and I think from last week to this week, I think they took a pretty huge step. You have to play your A game, everything has to be clicking. You can’t drop footballs. You can’t miss this, or you can’t miss that to be able to beat a football team like that, and that just didn’t happen for us.”

The Lakers (8-0, 7-0 GLIAC) dominated Ferris State in all facets of the game and held the Bulldogs to a season-low total of 118 yards of offense.

Strong play from the defensive line led the way for GVSU. The Lakers totaled six sacks, the sixth-highest single-game total in school history, and had little trouble handling Ferris State’s spread offense.

Sophomore defensive lineman Brandon Allen tallied 2.5 sacks while senior linebacker Justin Victor had nine tackles.

“All the credit goes to the coaches,” Allen said. “They put us in perfect plays to make plays. It’s just our job to wrap up and make tackles when the opportunity presents itself. I mean, it feels good because the coaches have been on us, especially the d-line, to be dynamic and to have somebody that is making plays. It’s good to get the shutout — It’s always good to get a shutout.”

The pressure from the GVSU front upset the timing of Ferris State’s offense, which led to many missed passes and blown-up running plays. Ferris State quarterback Tom Schneider left the game with a head injury after senior defensive end Nick Lawrence leveled him shortly before halftime, further impairing the struggling offense.

“We got a lot of pressure on their quarterback, which was key to the game,” said GVSU head coach Matt Mitchell. “Obviously, Nick had a big hit there before half which knocked Schneider out. Tom Schneider is their best player, and we just never really gave him a chance to get anything going running or passing the ball.”

For one of the rare occasions this season, the GVSU special teams unit did not disappoint. Redshirt freshman kicker Ryan Stokes was handed the field goal duties during the week and responded by converting all five extra point opportunities. He also hit field goals of 25 and 23 yards.

“Ryan Stokes did a great job for us,” Mitchell said. “He rose to the occasion. We ended up making that move, put a lot of pressure on him this week in practice. He had a rough week, not in terms of kicking the ball, but a lot of me on him a lot. He came out here and he responded, so I’m happy about that.”

Stokes’ field goals came after the GVSU offense stalled in the red zone, which did not happen often. The Lakers converted on 10-of-14 third down attempts.

“I was extremely excited today when I saw both of those kicks go through the uprights,” said senior quarterback Kyle McMahon. “It’s a great feeling knowing that he has confidence in himself. You could just tell today when he was kicking that he was really happy with what he was doing. He was able to make them. It does take a lot of pressure off of us.”

The offensive line had another great performance as the Lakers racked up 242 rushing yards and kept McMahon and redshirt freshman reserve quarterback Heath Parling mostly free from pressure.

“Our offensive line played great,” McMahon said. “Basically, we put the game in their hands saying that we needed to run the ball today, and they were able to do that. They came out. They were ready to go from the start. You could just tell in the pre-game warm up. You could tell in the locker room before the game that they were ready to go.”

McMahon completed 11-of-15 passes for 182 yards and a second-quarter, 55-yard touchdown to junior wide receiver Jovonne Augustus. The senior quarterback also led the Lakers with 64 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 10 attempts.

Also scoring touchdowns for the Lakers were sophomore running back Norman Shuford and Parling.

Augustus’ touchdown catch immediately followed an interception by redshirt freshman cornerback Michael Hatcher and came on one of the best passes thrown by McMahon all season.

“I just knew he’d go get it,” McMahon said. “They were in cover three, so I checked it to a go. I knew he could win on the corner. He was moving, so I just figured I’d get it out there as far as I could, and when he went up, I was pretty confident the way he went up that he was going to be able to make the catch.”

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“Glad to get this on our belt. This is a big one. Ferris always plays us really tough and it was a big game for the conference. I thought our kids were extremely focused all week in practice. Like I said, probably our best game to date when you take into account all three phases of the football.” – Matt Mitchell


Ryan Stokes, kicker

The redshirt freshman converted all five extra points and hit field goals of 23 yards and 25 yards.

Brandon Allen, defensive line

Allen, a sophmore, had 2.5 sacks and six tackles.


Grand Valley State University 41, Ferris State University 0

GVSU 10 14 10 7 – 41

FSU 0 0 0 0 – 0

First Quarter

7:02 GVSU – Kyle McMahon 4 yd run (Ryan Stokes kick)

1:38 GVSU – Stokes 25 yd field goal

Second Quarter

7:03 GVSU – Norman Shuford 1 yd run (Stokes kick)

2:13 GVSU – Jovonne Augustus 55 yd pass from McMahon (Stokes kick)

Third Quarter

9:31 GVSU – McMahon 6 yd run (Stokes kick)

2:30 GVSU – Stokes 23 yd field goal

Fourth Quarter

5:15 GVSU – Heath Parling 2 yd run (Stokes kick)