No. 25 GVSU bounces back, beats Tech 49-3
Maybe the No. 25 Grand Valley State University football team just needed a trip back to Lubbers Stadium.
GVSU (4-1, 2-1 GLIAC) looked right at home in a dominating 49-3 win over Michigan Tech University (2-2, 2-2 GLIAC)
The Lakers outperformed Michigan Tech in all three phases of the game and looked more like the team that started the season 3-0, instead of the squad that was blown out 57-14 against Ohio Dominican.
“Proud of our coaches, and proud of our kids,” said head coach Matt Mitchell. “We got a lot of pride in this building and guys bounced back.”
Junior quarterback Heath Parling made his first start since the season opener against Azusa Pacific. Parling missed the last three games due to a shoulder injury.
After throwing an interception on the first Laker play from scrimmage, Parling showed no signs of rust, as he finished the night completing 19 of 24 passes for 264 yards, and four touchdowns.
“They started to get back into the looks that we had practiced against, and that made things easier and we executed well,” Parling said.
GVSU opened up the scoring when Parling hit sophomore running back Kirk Spencer on a screen pass, and with good blocking downfield, Spencer took it all the way for the 34-yard score.
Parling’s second touchdown would go to redshirt freshman tight end Joe Warner. The Michigan Tech defense bit on the play-action and left Warner wide-open in the end zone for the 5-yard touchdown. The completion to Warner would be the first catch of his career.
Michigan Tech would respond with a 44-yard field goal, but the 14-3 deficit would be as close as they would get. GVSU would go onto score 35 unanswered points.
The Lakers took all the momentum into the half as they put together an 85-yard scoring drive before the half expired. The drive was capped off on another screen pass, this time Parling found senior wide receiver Brandan Green.
GVSU came out of the half and tacked on to their lead on the opening drive of the half. Parling threw a perfect pass to junior wide receiver Darryl Pitts down the sideline for the 35-yard touchdown.
The Lakers also had success on the ground. Ratay led GVSU with 117 yards on 16 carries and one touchdown, his ninth score of the year. Senior running back Chris Robinson and junior running back Ben Hutchins both added rushing touchdowns, including a 60-yard score by Hutchins.
After being outplayed on special teams last week, it was GVSU who was making the big plays this game. Senior Billy Seiler recovered a muffed Michigan Tech punt, and senior Erik Thompson blocked a punt that allowed GVSU to start its drive from the Michigan Tech 1.
GVSU’s defense was consistently strong all night long. The defense made a goal-line stand early in the game, and contained Michigan Tech’s quarterback Tyler Scarlett through the air. Scarlett finished the game completing 17 of 36 passes for 223 yards—53 yards below his season average.
Senior linebacker Jordan Kaufman led the Laker defense with nine tackles.
GVSU’s next matchup will be on the road as they travel to take on Ferris State University (3-2, 3-1 GLIAC)
_Note: Junior defensive back Bobby Wunderlich suffered a severely fractured left leg just before the end of the first half. _