GVSU football handles Lake Erie 55-7

GVL / Luke Holmes - Marty Carter (21) scores a touchdown.

Luke Holmes

GVL / Luke Holmes – Marty Carter (21) scores a touchdown.

Beau Troutman

On the very first offensive play off the game versus Lake Erie, Grand Valley State running back Marty Carter ripped off a 79-yard touchdown run.

The rest of the game wasn’t much different.

The Lakers (2-0) rolled to a 55-7 victory over the Lake Erie Storm (0-2) at home Saturday, Sept. 10 thanks to a first half offensive onslaught that saw the Lakers outgain the Storm 412-77.

“All three phases we played pretty well,” said GVSU coach Matt Mitchell. “Defensively, same thing like the last week, the first series they kind of hit a couple plays on us, but we settled in and did a great job with our starting unit. Offensively, until the last possession we didn’t punt, kept scoring touchdowns and didn’t have to settle for anything.”

The Lakers scored 21 points in both the first and second quarters combined, and took a 42-0 lead into halftime.

The Storm failed to answer after Carter’s 79-yarder, and GVSU took to the ground again on their next drive. A 20-yard reception by Urston Smith set the Lakers up at the Storm 30-yard line. Carter got the ball up the middle, and again gashed the Storm defense for another touchdown to go up 14-0.

“I give (the offensive line) credit,” Carter said. “If it wasn’t for them, those plays wouldn’t happen. There was a couple plays I went untouched, kind of exciting for me because once I get to the secondary, it’s pretty fun.”

The Storm punted again on their next possession, setting the Lakers up with another shot at the end zone.

A few plays into the drive, the Lakers had the ball and a first down at the GVSU 45-yard line. Quarterback Bart Williams faked the handoff and launched the ball deep to Urston Smith—his favorite deep threat this season—who hauled it in for a 52-yard gain and a first and goal at the three yard line.

Williams hit a wide-open Carter for a touchdown three plays later, putting the Lakers up 21-0 near the end of the first quarter.

At the start of the second quarter, the Lake Erie offense was able to manufacture a sustained drive into GVSU territory. However, back-to-back sacks on Storm quarterback John Banyasz by seniors DéOndre Hogan and Alton Voss halted the only meaningful Storm possession up to that point.

The Lakers’ starting defense sacked Banyasz four times in the first half, and limited him to 7-of-10 passing with 56 yards. Banyasz was also the leading rusher for the Storm at the half with 41 yards, while the three Storm running backs combined for 31 total rushing yards.

“We knew their quarterback was mobile, but he always looked to run, he wasn’t trying to pass the ball,” Voss said. “We just got on our horse and we just got him down, we were just trying to make plays for our defense.”

Facing a second down and eight yards to go from the GVSU 38-yard line, Williams dropped back to pass, and Smith was streaking down the field past the Storm secondary. Williams let it fly, and Smith reached out in front for the catch to complete a 62-yard touchdown pass and put the Lakers up 28-0.

“I just throw it out there and he catches it,” Williams said. “(Smith) is a big physical receiver, he’s got great hands and you know when the ball is in the air he wants it. You feel real comfortable when you throw the ball up to him.”

The Lakers ended the first half on touchdown runs by Terrell Dorsey (three yards) and Brandon Bean (five yards), the latter coming off of a botched Storm punt that gave the Lakers a first down and goal.

The Lakers’ starting units only played in the first half. Williams finished 8-of-11 for 196 yards and two touchdowns. Carter finished with 144 yards on nine carries for a 16-yard-per-carry average and had three total touchdowns. Smith totaled 134 receiving yards on just three catches. Voss and Hogan had two sacks each.

Backup Quarterback Ollie Ajami added two touchdowns in the second half for the second time in as many weeks. Williams is now eighth all-time in GVSU career passing yards. Carter’s 79-yard run made him the 35th 1,000-yard career rusher in GVSU history.

Next, the 2-0 Lakers will face the Northern Michigan Wildcats at Lubbers Stadium at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17.