GV football puts up offensive clinic to extend win streak to six-straight


GVL / Macayla Cramer

Brian Bloom, Staff Writer

Grand Valley State University men’s football defeated American International College 45-3 in Massachusetts this past weekend to remain undefeated at the halfway point of the season (6-0). 

This is the first time since the 2018 season that the Lakers have started their regular season undefeated through six games.

The first six minutes of the game saw both sides of the defense preventing either team from putting any points on the board. That was until the clock showed 6:34 left in the opening quarter and the Lakers’ offense cracked open the game.

Junior running back Tariq Reid was a staple in the win as he scored the first of his three rushing touchdowns on a 12-yard touchdown run. A successful extra point attempt by sophomore kicker Kollin Kralapp brought the score to 7-0.

Later in the quarter, senior running back Jack Provencher found a hole in the defense and took the ball 78 yards to the endzone to make the score 14-0 with 2:14 left in the first. 

“(The offense) had a lot of explosive plays,” said head coach Matt Mitchell. “Up until the last play, we did not turn the ball over. Explosive plays and turnover-free football are very important to the game, and we did both of those today.”

American International was able to respond as their offense drove the ball into field goal range and scored a 46-yard field goal, resulting in their only points of the game.

The Lakers’ scoring barrage continued in the second quarter as they added 21 points to their already 11-point lead.

First, Reid took a handoff 59 yards to the endzone untouched for his second touchdown on the day with plenty of daylight left in the first half. On the next offensive possession, junior quarterback Cade Peterson connected with sophomore wide receiver Cody Tierney for a 63-yard touchdown, and junior backup quarterback Cal Endicott scrambled out of the pocket and found Tierney wide open for a 19-yard touchdown to make the score 35-3 with 3:34 left to play in the half.

“We had a bunch of explosive plays and they gave us a lot of momentum,” Peterson said. “Having the run game and pass game working at the same time makes the offense work efficiently. When you’re explosive on offense, it makes the game a lot easier and lets the offense control the game.”

Even with a top-heavy scoring output by GVSU in the first, the start of the second half was quite similar to the first as both offenses struggled to score points due to stout defense. 

However, Reid’s knack to find the endzone could not be stopped as he sprinted his way across the pylon from two yards away for his third touchdown to extend the lead by 39 points with 24 seconds left to play in quarter number three.

“It’s great to have (Reid) on our team,” Peterson said. “He’s an explosive runner that is great in pass protection and he adds so much to our offense when he’s on the field.”

GVSU’s defense persisted against American International’s and kept them out of the endzone for the remainder of the game.

Kralapp would ultimately add the final points of the game to the scoreboard as he drilled a 21-yard field goal to finalize the 45-3 victory.

“Playing another game without allowing a touchdown is good for our defense,” said junior linebacker Abe Swanson. “It’s a great momentum builder and confidence booster that we can shut everyone down and play well every single game.”

Although the Lakers have dominated their first six opponents thus far, the team will look to defend its No. 1 overall positioning in the GLIAC standings as they are poised against what will likely be the hardest challenge of the season against the defending national champions, Ferris State University (currently 5-0).

The Anchor-Bone Classic will be played in Big Rapids at Top Taggart Field on Saturday, Oct. 15 starting at 1 p.m.

“We’re going to be confident,” Mitchell said. “We have a lot of humility and we’ll be really, really hungry. Our program understands the magnitude of this game for the GLIAC race and we’ll be really prepared.”