That's much better
Football bounces back to beat Tech 49-3
Head coach Matt Mitchell expected his team to bounce back after it suffered a 57-14 defeat to Ohio
But he wasn’t expecting this.
Mitchell and the No. 25 Grand Valley State University football team (4-1, 2-1 GLIAC) returned to its winning ways and dominated in all three phases of a 49-3 victory over Michigan Tech University (2-2, 2-2 GLIAC).
“Maybe not to this degree, because I know the type of tradition and pride that Michigan Tech has in their program,” Mitchell said about his team bouncing back. “I do think this shows the potential of the 2013 Lakers and obviously last week we did not play up to our potential. It’s a little bittersweet. I’m happy about how our guys bounced back and how our guys handled it, but I’m also frustrated that we didn’t take care of business down in Ohio, but it is what it is and we’re moving on.”
This game also marked the return of junior quarterback Heath Parling, who missed the last three games because of a shoulder injury.
After throwing an interception on the first Laker play from scrimmage, Parling didn’t show any signs of rust as he completed 19 of 24 passes for 264 yards and four touchdowns.
“I misread a coverage and obviously threw a bad ball, so I’d like to have that one back,” Parling said. “Just had to regroup and refocus in. They kind of started to get back into looks that we practiced against that made things easier, and we executed well.”
Two of Parling’s touchdowns came via screen passes. On his first one, Parling recognized the Michigan Tech blitz in his pre-snap read and audibled to a screen pass for sophomore running back Kirk Spencer, who took the ball 34 yards for the score.
The second screen pass that went for a touchdown capped off an 85-yard drive before the half. Senior wide receiver Brandan Green took it 14 yards to give GVSU a 28-3 advantage into halftime.
“The first point is our athletic lineman that can get downfield,” Mitchell said. “The second part of the screen game is that we have a lot of unselfish players that will block, and I think the third thing is a couple times Heath got us into the screens based on some looks that we saw. I thought tonight we did a great job of executing.”
After struggling last week on the special teams end, it was GVSU who was making plays in that phase of the game. It was the seniors who led the way, as Billy Seiler recovered a muffed punt by Michigan Tech and Erik Thompson blocked a punt that set up the GVSU offense to start from the 1-yard line of Michigan Tech.
“We got great kickoff coverage and pinned them down inside most of the night,” Mitchell said. “Our punt team forced a fumble, our punt return team blocked a punt that led to a score, and Reggie Williams did a nice job of advancing the ball.”
On defense, the highlight came early in the first quarter as GVSU made a goal-line stand—after
Parling’s interception—to keep the game scoreless.
GVSU also managed to contain Michigan Tech quarterback Tyler Scarlett. Scarlett entered the game
averaging the second-most passing yards per game in the GLIAC, averaging 276 yards per contest.
However, on this night, he struggled to find a rhythm, as he finished the game completing 17 of 36
passes for 223 yards.
“I’m proud of our guys on defense,” Mitchell said. “We had to move Chuck Hill to safety. We moved
Davie Talley to nickel. We moved Sam Power from defensive line back to linebacker. (They) completely
bought into everything that we did. We had a solid game plan in place, and our kids went out and
With sophomore safety Brad Horling out, it was senior Hill who played safety alongside Thompson and
junior Bobby Wunderlich. Hill, along with the rest of the Laker defense, played this game with a chip
on his shoulder.
“We had a sour taste in our mouth because the defense last week was obviously not flying to the ball,
so we put an emphasis on that this week,” he said. “We went out there and handled our business.”
GVSU’s next game will be this Saturday, as it will face rival Ferris State University (3-2, 3-1 GLIAC) in