Whacking the Wolves: GV Football dominates Northwood, improves to 3-0


GVL \ Sheila Babbitt

Kellen Voss, Sports Editor

While the Grand Valley State football team needed to come back from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter last week, their Week three matchup was much less dramatic, as they never trailed on the road against the Northwood Timberwolves to open up GLIAC play with a 27-3 win.

The experienced defense yet again helped carry the Lakers to a win, as GVSU essentially rented a condo in the Northwood backfield, racking up five sacks and 13 tackles for loss. Sophomore linebacker Brendann Brown led the Laker defenders with 10 tackles.

“Anytime in college football that you can not let a team cross the goal line and only score three points says a lot about what this defense can do,” said GVSU coach Matt Mitchell. “I thought we did a great job on east-to-west runs — I don’t think they had an east-to-west run that really went for anything. Our secondary did a good job containing the receivers and we did a good job harassing the quarterback in the backfield.”

GVSU was also dominant on the other side of the ball, as redshirt freshmen Cade Peterson played well in his first collegiate start, completing 10 passes for 200 yards and two touchdowns. Mitchell loved what he saw out of his young offensive leader, and sees great things to come for him in the future.

“His first start as a Laker is on the road against a tough Northwood team in hot weather, and I thought he handled himself well in the pocket,” Mitchell said. “He delivered some strikes even after getting hit a few times.”

Peterson wasn’t the only redshirt freshman to come up big on offense, as it’s clear that he has a favorite target in wide receiver Daevon Anderson.

He caught both of Peterson’s touchdown throws — one being a 52-yard reception where Anderson used his top-end speed to avoid the defender and the other being a jump ball on the goal line thrown only in a spot where Anderson could get it.

The Lakers have struggled with injuries at quarterback all season long, and they faced it again late in the first quarter, as Cade Peterson was hit on a deep ball and walked off the field under his own power.

While Peterson was getting looked at on the sideline, sophomore Nathan Barko came in and threw a dime to senior wide receiver Austin Paritee. After Paritee was tackled on the 1-yard line, junior running back Bryce Young-Walls lowered his shoulder and found the end zone to give the Lakers what would end up being the game-sealing touchdown.

“Awesome job by Nate (Barko) on that throw — he was our third guy coming out of camp,” Mitchell said. “He stepped up, and he’s another guy we have confidence in because he’s been in this program a few years. We put him in and let him play football and he did a really good job.”

Following the win, the Lakers improve to 3-0 on the year, as well as 1-0 in the GLIAC, which is a great start if this team wants to accomplish their goal of being conference champs for the 18th time in school history.

“We got some tough ones coming up, but we’re sitting here 1-0 in GLIAC play,” Mitchell said. “Our goal is to try and win a conference championship, and we’re on the right side of that ledger after one week.”

GVSU will look to improve to 4-0 in another road GLIAC battle next week, as they travel all the way up to the U.P. to take on the Northern Michigan Wildcats Saturday, Sept. 28. That game is set to kick off at 1 p.m.