Lakers enjoy success in GLIAC opener
GVSU defeats Tiffin 42-17
Some things never change.
The Grand Valley State University football team entered its matchup against Tiffin University with a 5-
0 record in the series between the two teams and an average margin of victory of 53 to 7.6, which is
why the only surprising thing about GVSU’s 42-17 victory might be how close the final score was.
GVSU (3-0, 1-0 GLIAC) jumped on Tiffin early, scoring the first 35 points of the game. From there, it
looked it would be a blowout, but Tiffin would respond with 17 unanswered points of its own.
“We got off to a good start,”head coach Matt Mitchell said.“(We) really played well the first quarter
and most of the second. Very disappointing that on the defensive side of the ball, some of the
backups got in and we didn’t stop them really or play well.”
Senior cornerback Michael Hatcher went down in the first half with an ankle injury and did not return.
With senior safety Erik Thompson already not playing (pectoral muscle) and sophomore safety Brad
Horling dealing with a groin injury, Mitchell decided to play it safe with some of his guys in the
secondary and defense.
“Given some of our defensive health, we’re pretty conservative with some of our players and very
disappointed on the defensive side of the ball,” he said. “I thought our starting defense did a good job
containing Tiffin. The backups did not.”
One of the people who shined on the defense was junior defensive end Matt Mosley. Mosley recorded two sacks on the night, and his pressure on another play forced an interception that was caught by junior Deonte Hurst.
“He’s getting better every week because he’s getting more comfortable with our system,” Mitchell said. “He’s a dynamic player. He’s very physical too for being as good as a pass rusher. With the loss of Judon, he’s our top defensive end, and we’re going to really need to count on him as we continue the rest of the season.”
Junior quarterback Isiah Grimes looked comfortable again in his second start of the season, as junior Heath Parling continues to nurse his shoulder injury. Grimes finished the night completing 11 of 23 passes for 266 yards and two touchdowns; 248 of those yards came in the first half.
“They threw some different stuff that we didn’t really prepare for,” Grimes said. “They threw some cover three at us, and we didn’t really go over that too much this week. We did a good job adjusting on the sidelines and trying to execute to the best of our abilities to whatever they threw at us.”
Both of Grimes’ touchdowns went to sophomore tight end Jamie Potts. Senior wide receiver Brandan Green followed up last week’s 6 catch, 223 yard, one touchdown performance with another solid outing. Green caught three passes for 114 yards.
On the ground, it was junior running back Michael Ratay who led the Laker attack. Ratay tallied 174 yards on 14 carries and recorded three touchdowns, including a 42-yard score.
“I was out there just trusting out footwork, and the o-line was getting good blocks and the receivers were blocking downfield,” he said. “I just stayed on my alignment, and that was it.”
With junior running back Chris Robinson sitting out with a concussion, the Lakers were forced to lean on Ratay a little bit more than usual. Given his skill set, Mitchell had no qualms about Ratay’s ability to shoulder the load.
“I think I said before, but Mike is probably our most well rounded back,” he said. “People bounce off him, he has low center of gravity, has great balance. It’s very hard to bring him down. At the same time, I think people underestimate his speed, and he’s great out of the backfield and catches the ball
GVSU outgained Tiffin 557 to 391 in yards and for the first time this year, held its opponent under 100 rushing yards, as Tiffin only managed 87 yards on 33 attempts.
The Laker defense also managed to record seven sacks on the night and was led in tackles by redshirt freshman David Talley, who made nine stops.
Up next, the Lakers will make their first road trip of the season as they head to Ohio to take on Ohio Dominican University.
“A 42-17 win in the GLIAC gets us to 1-0,” Mitchell said. “We got a big game coming up next week with two 3-0 teams.”