GV football earns big road win against Michigan Tech, improves to 4-0


GVL \ Sheila Babbitt

Kellen Voss, Sports Editor

The Grand Valley State football team made a road trip to the U.P. the weekend of Sept. 28 and were able to return to Allendale with a victory, improving to 4-0 on the year after beating the Michigan Tech Huskies, 21-16.

Sophomore running back Aryuan Cain-Veasey made a name for himself in week one and solidified that his dominant performance wasn’t a fluke, as he ran for 101 yards and three touchdowns, all being from three yards in or less.

While Cain-Veasey got most of the carries due to an injury to junior Bryce Young-Walls, GVSU coach Matt Mitchell was happy to see Cain-Veasey play well despite the team’s lack of depth at the running back position.

“On the road, you can only bring so many guys, so we were shorthanded at the position,” Mitchell said. “We like to usually split the carries and go 1A-1B with Bryce and Cain-Veasey, but with the injury, Buck stepped up and played well.”

Redshirt freshman quarterback Cade Peterson struggled to get his footing, as even though he was efficient in completing eight of his 13 passes for 157 yards, he was sacked six times and fumbled away the ball on one of those sacks.

He wasn’t the only Laker to fumble on the day, as Cain-Veasey and senior punter Dan Madden also put the ball on the ground. Madden’s miscue was recovered in the end zone by the Huskies, tying the game 7-7 in the first quarter.

This marks the fourth week in a row that the Lakers managed to come away with a victory despite losing the turnover battle. As they look to face tougher teams in the GLIAC, they are going to need to give away less turnovers if they want to continue to be successful.

“It’s concerning that we keep losing the turnover margin,” Mitchell said. “We fumbled a few times ourselves, and our defense got the ball today when (Michigan Tech) put it on the ground. We have to continue to be consistent in terms of creating turnovers on defense.”

Even though the GVSU defense was unable to get land on one of the fumbles forced by junior Jake Hlava and senior Kurell Vaughn, they still had a solid game. They forced the Huskies to punt seven times and racked up six tackles for loss. Senior Isaiah Nkansah led the Lakers with 10 tackles.

GVL \ Shelia Babbitt

While the defense continues to be the backbone of the team, Mitchell said that they were certainly not perfect on Saturday and need to get better before facing more fearsome GLIAC opponents.

“They’ve been great from the get-go, and the strength of this team has been our defense,” Mitchell said. “From a humility standpoint, even though they only gave up 10 points, the one touchdown they gave up was when we had the lead, and so we didn’t want to have to come from behind. There are a few things that the team will see on tape that they need to improve on, and this is a crew that will see that.”

While improvement is important to any football team, finding a way to win despite a lack of depth and a loss in the turnover battle shows this team has resiliency. They’ve proven multiple times this season they can come from behind and win, and getting a road victory like this in the GLIAC is no simple task.

“It’s always tough to come up and play in Michigan Tech, so I was proud of our guys,” Mitchell said. “We had some bright spots in all three phases and definitely some things we can work on, but we went against a good defense today and I’m glad we got the final two scores.”

The 4-0 Lakers will look to remain undefeated this weekend, as they return to Lubbers Stadium for a game with the Ashland Eagles. Kickoff is Saturday, Oct. 5, at 7 p.m.