Lakers topple Saginaw Valley 28-7

GVSU vs. Northwood football game

Eric Coulter

GVSU vs. Northwood football game

Cody Eding

Saginaw, Mich. – The Grand Valley State University football team is playoff bound.

Needing a win to guarantee the team’s 10th consecutive playoff appearance and its sixth-straight GLIAC Championship, the Lakers defeated Saginaw Valley State University 28-7 in Saturday’s Battle of the Valleys at Wickes Stadium.

“I’m proud of all our guys, especially our guys on defense,” said GVSU head coach Matt Mitchell. “We were fighting. We were a little bit dinged up, and we had guys that kept going out there.”

The game was never out of GVSU’s (10-1, 9-1 GLIAC) control. The Lakers totaled 465 yards of total offense and rushed for more than 200 yards for the seventh time this season.

Senior running back Justin Sherrod led GVSU with 88 yards rushing and a touchdown on 13 attempts. Senior quarterback Kyle McMahon had 83 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries, while sophomore running back Norman Shuford added 74 yards on 10 attempts.

“Our offensive line, two weeks in a row, just dominated the front,” said Sherrod. “We kind of knew that they didn’t wrap up. As running backs we kept telling ourselves, ‘Don’t go down easy. Their not really going to wrap up.’ It was just the o-line that was blowing the holes.”

Senior linebacker Justin Victor tallied a career-high 14 tackles to lead the GVSU defense. The Lakers forced three turnovers from Saginaw Valley’s offense.

“It was an emotional game,” said Victor. “It was a lot going on. Both team’s were getting real hyped. It was hard-hitting action out there, and it’s good to get the win against them.”

After Saginaw Valley scored to pull to within 14-7 shortly after halftime, the Lakers delivered the final blows of the game on a blocked punt return for a touchdown and a long touchdown pass.

With just more than six minutes to play in the third quarter, redshirt freshman defensive back Charles Hill blocked a Saginaw Valley punt and sophomore corner back Myron Puryear pounced on the loose ball in the back of the end zone for a score.

McMahon hit junior tight end Andrew Lorman for a 46-yard score with 4:53 to play in the game to cap GVSU’s scoring.

The Lakers led 14-0 at halftime on a pair of rushing touchdowns.

GVSU capitalized on its second drive of the game with an 11-play scoring march. With his receivers covered, McMahon scampered seven yards to the left corner of the end zone. Ryan Stokes’ successful point after gave GVSU a 7-0 lead.

Following an SVSU turnover with just more than eight minutes to play in the half, the Lakers drove 72 yards in nine plays for another touchdown. Sherrod’s scoot around the right end put GVSU up 14-0 after two quarters.

GVSU will learn its playoff fate Sunday. Pairings will be announced at 3 p.m. on ESPNews. The Lakers currently hold the No. 3 seed in the NCAA Super Region. The top-two seeds receive a first round bye.

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Grand Valley State University 28, Saginaw Valley State University 7

GVSU 7 7 7 7 – 28
SVSU 0 0 7 0 – 7

First Quarter
3:49 GVSU – Kyle McMahon 7 yd run (Ryan Stokes kick)
Second Quarter
2:54 GVSU – Justin Sherrod 3 yd run (Stokes kick)
Third Quarter
12:38 SVSU – Andrew Beaver 17 yd pass from Jason Jennings (Tom Goodroe kick)
6:17 GVSU – Myron Puryear 0 yd blocked punt return (Stokes kick)
Fourth Quarter
4:53 GVSU – Andrew Lorman 46 yd pass from McMahon (Stokes kick)