Grimes, Green lead GVSU past Truman
Football starts the season 2-0
Last year, it was the combination of Heath Parling to Charles Johnson that dominated the air for the Grand Valley State University football team.
Tonight, it was a different, albeit just as effective combo in the 31-15 Laker victory over Truman State University.
With Parling sitting out due to a strained shoulder, it was junior quarterback Isiah Grimes who got the start. The Laker offense (2-0) operated without a hitch, as Grimes completed 15 of 23 passes for 339 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception that wasn’t his fault, as the ball bounced off of running back Kirk Spencer’s hands, and right to the Truman defense.
Grimes’ favorite target on the night was senior wide receiver Brandan Green, who finished the night with six catches, 223 yards and one touchdown. The 223 yards is the third most in GVSU history.
With his performance on Saturday, Green nearly surpassed last year’s total in yards. In 2012 he recorded 296 yards on 15 receptions, and tallied two touchdowns.
“Brandan had a great camp,” head coach Matt Mitchell said. “I know we were a little disappointed we couldn’t get Brandan a little bit more involved in game one, based on the camp he had. He came out and obviously had a big night. I know him and Isiah, not that he doesn’t with Heath, but they typically have a pretty good chemistry. He’s a home run threat. I’m glad that he got back on track because tonight is the Brandan Green that as a team, we’ve seen throughout camp.”
It didn’t take long for Grimes to find Green. The first completion to Green happened on GVSU’s first possession of the game, a 39-yard pass which eventually set up the opening score of the contest, as junior running back Michael Ratay ran it in from two yards out.
GVSU’s defense would bend, but not break, as Truman managed to drive the ball into Laker territory, but could only come away with three field goals in the first half.
Statistically, GVSU dominated the second half. The Lakers tallied 383 yards in the second half, while holding Truman to only 68 yards.
Despite being outgained, Truman had an opportunity to make it a one score game with 2:23 left in the third quarter. After scoring their first touchdown of the night, they decided to go for the two-point conversion, but the Laker defense stood, giving GVSU a 24-15 advantage.
It didn’t take long for the GVSU offense to respond. The highlight of the night came on the second play of scrimmage on the next Laker drive. Grimes threw a deep strike to Green, who ran under the pass for the 61-yard touchdown.
“I tell him to put it out there and I’ll run under it for you,” Green said. “Just read the defense and throw it away, is basically what we practice all week.”
The Lakers also had success on the ground, tallying 226 yards, including 130 yards on 16 carries from junior running back Chris Robinson. As a team, GVSU tallied 565 yards, while holding Truman to only 219 yards.
Junior linebacker Jack Sauber led the defense with 10 tackles and senior linebacker Luther Ware and junior defensive lineman Isiah Dunning both recorded sacks. Freshman Branden Delk recorded six tackles in his first career start, as the Lakers were without both starting safeties, senior Erik Thompson and sophomore Brad Horling.
“We’ll take it,” Mitchell said. “We’re two 2-0 in non-conference play against two opponents that we really hadn’t played before. Now we head into GLIAC play and obviously strive to get better as we start to approach Tiffin.”