GV Football puts on a show for Family Day, continues undefeated run

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GVL / Rachel Slomba

Shawn Robinson , Staff Writer

The No. 6 ranked Grand Valley State University football team obliterated Northwood University football, 70-9, this past Saturday, Oct. 9 at Lubbers Stadium for the annual Family Day Game here at GVSU, as many friends, families and students filled the stands. 

GVSU started on defense while Northwood opened the game with an attacking mindset as quarterback Ty Cox threw a 24-yard pass to receiver Noah Koenigsknecht for the first touchdown of the game; a 6-play, 86-yard drive gave the Timberwolves a 6-0 lead after a missed extra point attempt. 

GVSU then came out for their first offensive drive of the game. Sophomore quarterback, Cade Peterson, threw a 34-yard pass to freshman receiver, Darrell Johnson, to set the Lakers in enemy territory. Another great pass from Peterson to junior receiver, Hunter Rison, for 18-yards put the Lakers inside the red zone for the first time in the game. The trip would then result in a 9-yard pass from Peterson to redshirt freshman, Jaylon Williams, for his first Laker touchdown reception that would give them a 7-6 lead. 

After a forced fumble by senior defensive cornerback, Tory Lewis, junior Damon Wesley was able to recover at the GVSU 48-yard line. The offense came out looking to extend their advantage and score after the forced turnover. Peterson found Rison for a 17-yard pass that put the Lakers on the Northwood 16-yard line. Two plays later, junior running back, Aryuan Cain-Veasey, ran in for 6-yards for another GVSU touchdown, extending their lead, 14-6.

To start the second quarter, GVSU had control of the ball and looked to score to control the game. An 11-play, 91-yard-long drive concluded in a Lakers’ touchdown after Peterson completed a 29-yard pass to Rison, growing their lead, 21-6. 

Northwood would come out on offense to try to cut into the GVSU lead but were forced to yet another 3-and-out. The hot Laker offense came back onto the field for a 5-play, 51-yard drive after a Cain-Veasey 24-yard touchdown run, his second of the game, making the lead 28-6 with just under 10 minutes left in the first half. 

Another 3-and-out would force Northwood to punt the ball. The GVSU special teams would rush the punter as junior linebacker, Denzel Williams, blocked the punt, which was then scooped up by redshirt freshman defensive back, Grant Hart, to score a 19-yard punt-return touchdown, extending the Laker even further, 35-6. 

On the next GVSU offensive drive, they continued to keep their foot on the gas pedal as senior running back, Bryce Young-Walls, ran for a 24-yard gain to put the Lakers fairly close to enemy territory. That then set up for a perfect scoring opportunity, as Peterson slung the ball down the field 52-yards to redshirt freshman receiver, Cody Tierney, for a touchdown making the score 42-6 with just under 3:30 late in the first half. 

With the clock winding down late in the second quarter, the Lakers would have another opportunity on offense. Peterson was able to find Rison for a 19-yard touchdown pass, his second of the game. The Lakers’ lead grew even further, 49-6. 

Rison at halftime had recorded 6 receptions, 102 yards along with two touchdowns, while Peterson threw a phenomenal 14-20 for 251 yards alongside four touchdown passes. This was the most points GVSU has scored in a first half since 2001 when they scored 40 against the University of Indianapolis.

 “Our offense was just extremely efficient in the first half,” said coach Matt Mitchell. “We had 6 possessions, 6 touchdowns and blocked a punt to for a score in the first half. Before the end of the half, we wanted to be up 49 so we could sit some guys in the second half.”

With the second half starting and both teams with different approaches, GVSU opened up with backup sophomore quarterback, Cal Endicott, to lead the offense. 

After an early 3-and-out by both teams to start to the quarter, GVSU was able to have great field position after Johnson set the Laker offense in the red zone after a 49 yard-punt return. It was then only a matter of time before the offense scored another touchdown, which came after a 1-play, 7-yard run by Endicott to extend the lead, 56-6. 

After not scoring since their first drive of the game, the Timberwolves were able to put together a 14-play, 59-yard drive that resulted in a field goal kick by NU’s kicker, Max Gonos, slightly putting a damper on the GVSU lead, 56-9.

The Lakers would come out on their next offensive drive and score in 5 plays: 75 yards as junior running back, Jack Provencher, ran in a 1-yard touchdown run, extending the lead 63-9. 

NU’s fumble would result in GVSU recovering and putting the Lakers in excellent field position. To open up the fourth quarter, redshirt freshman quarterback, Avery Moore, entered the game and handed the ball off to Provencher for a 6-yard touchdown run, his second of the evening and adding insult to the lead, 70-9. 

This victory also marked Mitchell’s 100th career win during his coaching tenure here at GVSU. 

“It hit me when they put it on the screen,” Mitchell said. “I’ve had a lot of great mentors, assistant coaches, players along the way and so it’s one of those numbers at some point and time you look back when your career is over at this and those type of things. Happy to get 100; I appreciate the recognition by the athletic department. It wasn’t done alone, it was done with a lot of great people week in and week out. We will enjoy the 100, we’ll enjoy the victory, but we all know what’s going on 6 days from now against Ferris State. You’ll get to work and get ready to move forward.”

The Lakers take on rival Ferris State University next Saturday, Oct. 16 at Lubbers Stadium and put their undefeated record to the test.