GV Football faces Michigan Tech again this season, securing a 14-9 win


GVL / Lauren Seymour

Shawn Robinson, Staff Writer

The no. 7 ranked Grand Valley State University (7-1) football team defeated Michigan Tech University (4-4) 14-9 on Saturday, Oct. 30 at Lubbers Stadium for their homecoming game. This was the second matchup between the two teams with the first also resulting in a GVSU 44-21 victory.

The game stood as the 300th win of all-time GLIAC play, advancing the Lakers’ record in the GLIAC to 4-1. 

The first quarter started slowly as both teams went three-and-out on their opening offensive drives. With 9:08 left, the Lakers looked to get on the board as they started on their own 32-yard line. On second and one, sophomore quarterback Cade Peterson found junior wide out Hunter Rison for a 10-yard completion, putting the team near the red zone. Two plays later, Peterson aired the ball out to junior tight-end Scott Cooper for a 30-yard touchdown that gave the Lakers an early 7-0 lead.

“It’s a unique situation,” Peterson said to GVSU Athletics. “Because from our perspective scoring 44 points rushing the ball, there’s a fine line between what you want to keep and what you want to switch. They’re going to make a lot of adjustments and the thing that’s hard is that it’s a lot of game-time-feel decisions.”

Early in the second, GVSU was determined to add another score and take a commanding lead. As the offense came out on the field and started at their own 44-yard line, the Lakers drove down to the goal line on a 10-play, 56-yard drive that resulted in a Peterson completion to junior wide receiver Jacob Miller three yards out for the second touchdown of the game, putting the team up 14-0 with 8:34 remaining.

After having played the Huskies previously in the season, the team knew what to expect coming in and was able to use that to their advantage.

“Our coaches prepared us knowing they (MTU) were coming in throwing everything they had at us, you know trick plays, reverses, things like that,” said senior cornerback Allante Leapheart. “Our coaches prepared us every day from Tuesday to Friday to be ready, to have our eyes where they were supposed to be and be disciplined.” 

After the half, MTU was desperate to get on the board. The Huskies offense went down the field attempting to get six, but the tough-minded GVSU defense made MTU settle for three points instead after a 30-yard field goal.

“We did a good job (defensively),” said coach Matt Mitchell. “Looking at the statistics, we held them to under 100 yards rushing and they were making a conservative effort in the 2nd half to really run the ball. We never flinched, held them to a field goal attempt, and created some turnovers. We remained physical up front and just kind of harassed them. Just a great effort by our defense all around.”

Heading into the fourth quarter, Michigan Tech University looked to shed the deficit starting their drive with 8:20 left in the game. A seven play, 69-yard drive resulted in a touchdown when quarterback Will Ark connected with Justin Davis for a 14-yard completion, cutting the Laker lead to five. With just 4:20 left in the game, the final score ended 14-9 for the Laker’s seventh win of the season.

“(The game was) offensively frustrating,” Mitchell said. “We were three of 14 on 3rd and 4th down. We’ve been really good on third and fourth downs and converting but we weren’t today. I didn’t want to put the game in the hands of a freshman kicker with some of those field goals, and we’ve got to try and get those 3rd and shorts and fourth and shorts.”

Although the game was a win for the Lakers, there were still a few snags in their game that the team wasn’t completely satisfied with going into their last two games before the GLIAC Tournament. 

“One thing I’ll say about our offense is it was not going good,” Mitchell said. “It was not clean, we were shaky on our possession team but we got the ball with four and some change left, and we never gave the ball back to them. We had a couple really nice runs; obviously Cade ran it even on the fourth down.” 

The Lakers will face Wayne State University for their ninth game of the season on Saturday, Nov. 6 in Detroit before their final home game of the 2021 season on Nov. 13 against Davenport University.  

“It’s a win and it keeps everything in plain sight, it’s really tough to beat a team twice, and Michigan Tech has a really salty defense and that was on display today, so 14 points good enough, and we got the win.” 

The NCAA playoffs begin Nov. 20 where the Lakers hope to finish out the rest of their season as far into the playoffs as possible.