ALLENDALE, Mich. — The No. 1 ranked Grand Valley State Laker football squad claimed a 42-14 victory over Wayne State Saturday afternoon at Lubbers Stadium before a crowd of 9,154. The victory assured GVSU of at least a share of the 2022 GLIAC Championship and the Lakers retain the Wooden Shoes Trophy. In addition, GVSU improved to 10-0, marking the 18th time in program history that the Lakers have won 10 or more games. GVSU will close the regular season next Saturday with a 12 noon matchup at the No. 13 Davenport Panthers (8-1).
Winds out of the south ranging from 25-35 miles per hour, mixed with rain to play a major role in the matchup for the Wooden Shoe Trophy for all four quarters. GVSU was able to put points on the board midway through the first quarter with a 5-play, 69-yard scoring drive. QB Avery Moore opened the drive with a 14-yard run followed by a 30-yard completion from junior QB Cade Peterson to senior tight end Jayk Slager. Junior RB Tariq Reid added a 12-yard run before sophomore WR Kyle Nott scored on an 8-yard run. Junior place kicker Josh Gorball kick the first of his two PATs for a 7-0 Laker lead. It appeared that would be all of the scoring in the first half when a Wayne State punt resulted in a touchback with :43 ticks left in the first half. However, Peterson raced 52 yards to the Wayne State 28-yard line to set up a scoring opportunity. Peterson hit sophomore WR Cody Tierney with a 13-yard completion and WSU was flagged for off sides and defensive holding to set the Lakers up with a first and goal with :10 seconds left in the opening half. Peterson was able to push across the goal line on a QB keeper and Kollin Kralapp added the PAT for a 14-0 halftime lead.
GVSU dominated the third quarter with the wind, scoring 21 points. Following a three-and-out by the WSU offense, the Lakers needed just two plays as Peterson hit Tierney with a 30-yard touchdown pass to up the lead to 21-0. A 6-play, 45-yard scoring drive resulted in a 23-yard TD run by Peterson to give GVSU a 28-0 lead. Nott returned a punt 28 yards to the WSU 23-yard line to set up another scoring drive. Peterson hit sophomore TE Gavin Cossou with a 10-yard TD pass to wrap up the third quarter scoring and a 35-0 GVSU lead. Reid upped the Laker lead to 42-0 as he put the finishing touches on a 6-play, 52-yard scoring drive with a 2-yard TD run early in the fourth quarter.
Wayne State scored a couple late touchdowns for the final margin of 42-14.
Peterson completed 13-of-19 passes for 182 yards and two TDs, while rushing for 73 yards and two scores. Reid chipped in 45 rushing yards and one TD, while Tierney caught five passes for 87 yards and a TD. The Laker ground game produced 172 yards and the passing game 193 yards. The GVSU defense limited Wayne State to 212 yards of total offense, 112 of which came in the final two drives of the game. The Warriors managed 38 rushing yards and 174 passing yards. The Laker defense tallied seven QB sacks (-49) and 10.0 tackles for loss (-54). Senior safety Antonio Strong led the way with six tackles, while junior LB Stephen Roncelli added five stops, 1.0 QB sacks (-6) and a tackle for loss (-6). DE Christian McCarroll and LB Damon Wesley each recorded a QB sack and 1.5 tackles for loss.
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