GV wins first road game of the year, continuing 2021 campaign undefeated

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GVL / Lauren Seymour

Shawn Robinson , Staff Writer

No. 9 ranked Grand Valley State University opened their first road game of the season with a big win against Michigan Tech on Saturday, Sept. 25 at Kearly Stadium. This is the first matchup between the two teams during the 2021 campaign before they meetup again Oct. 30.

The first quarter started off fairly slow for both teams, as neither were able to drive far down the field. On MTU’s first offensive possession, GVSU was able to get pressure on the quarterback and junior defensive end, Brendann Brown, recorded his first sack of the season. With no choice but to punt the ball, redshirt freshman wide reciever, Kyle Nott, blocked Michigan Tech’s punt to put the GVSU offense in great field position on MTU’s 30-yard line.

The GVSU offense would march 30-yards down the field to record the first score of the game after sophomore running back, Tariq Reid, ran in 3-yards to score for the Lakers and taking an early 7-0 lead.

The Lakers then came out on their next offensive drive and looked to extend their lead. The offense was poised to score another touchdown but would settle for a field goal after sophomore quarterback, Cade Peterson, rushed for loss. Sophomore kicker, Josh Gorball, would attempt a 41-yard field goal and convert, putting the Lakers up 10-0.

The second quarter was opposite from the first, as GVSU would score after a 48-yard rush by junior running back, Aryuan Cain-Veasey. The two-play, 54-yard drive would put the Lakers in complete control of the game, 17-0.

After another quick three-and-out from MTU, GVSU’s offense looked poised to keep their foot on the gas pedal and extend their lead even further. During the drive, Peterson got sacked for a big loss of 11 yards, but it was offset after an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on MTU. As a result of the play, Peterson would bounce back and get into MTU territory after a 19-yard rush. It was only a matter of time before GVSU got into the end zone for the third time in the second quarter, as Peterson would find open field and rush for 12-yards for another Laker touchdown, putting them up 23-0 with a little less than four minutes left in the first half.

With time running out in the first half of a very one-sided game, junior running back, Jack Provencher, rushed for 26-yards on the first play on the drive after a punt by MTU. Peterson would then find junior tight end ,Jayk Slager, for a 30-yard catch to put the Lakers on MTU’s 3-yard line. A little less than 50 seconds remained in the quarter and the Lakers wanted to punch in a score once again. Reid would score from the 1-yard line for his second score of the game and putting the Lakers up big before the half, 30-0.

“First of all I want to thank the O-Line; they created great holes up front and they executed the run game” Reid said.

The second half opened up with two different approaches for each team, one trying to mount a comeback and another trying to extend their lead. MTU was desperately looking to score to open their first drive of the half. Quarterback Will Ark was able to find his receiver Jordan Janssen for an 8-yard touchdown pass and finally put the Huskies on the board, cutting their deficit, 30-7.

GVSU would come out on their opening drive of the second half and looked to score once again. But the MTU defense had different plans and would get their first defensive turnover of the game after Peterson threw an interception. Michael Bates returned 63-yards to the house for a pick-six and reduced the Laker’s lead, 30-14.

The Lakers would come out and bounce back on the next drive. Peterson found Provencher for a 10-yard pass that would set up Reid for a 28-yard rush for his third touchdown of the game. GVSU’s lead would extend 37-14 with the clock winding down in the third quarter.

MTU received the ball looking to score again but the GVSU defense had different plans. MTU’s Will Ark fumbled the ball on their 34-yard line, and it was recovered by Brown. GVSU had great field position and easily found the end zone after a one-play, 34-yard run by Reid for his fourth score of the game, extending their lead, 44-14.

GVSU would force another three-and-out but would come out and have a turnover after quarterback Cal Endicott was intercepted at the GVSU 37-yard line. It would put the Huskies in great field position and resulted in a score after a Kyle Wood rushing touchdown to reduce the GVSU lead, 44-21.

GVSU’s running game was the key to this victory as they had a total of six rushing touchdowns. Tariq Reid led the way with 13 carries, 131 yards and four touchdowns. The Laker defense was stifling and only allowed a total of 82 rushing yards by the Huskies and also forced two fumbles.

“Our defensive starters did a great job only allowing 82 rushing yards,” said coach Matt Mitchell. “We did a really good job stopping the run and we had some good big sacks that were momentum changes.”

The Lakers now travel to Saginaw Valley State University this Saturday, Oct. 2 for the Battle of the Valleys game, hoping to see their undefeated record through for as long as they can.