After exchanging punts on their first possessions, senior defensive linemen Dan Skuta came up big, forcing the Ferris State fumble in their own territory, and four plays later, Brad Iciek found Greg Gay for the three-yard touchdown as he continues his breakout season.
On the Lakers' next drive, a perfect blend of running and passing put them in the endzone again by way of an Iciek touchdown pass to Blake Smolen from 10 yards out.
Ferris State responded on their ensuing drive, as redshirt freshman quarterback Tom Schneider orchestrated a methodical 13-play, 83 yard drive that ate up nearly eight minutes of the game clock, and capped it off with a Paris Holloman two-yard touchdown run. Cole Meredith and Tim Hogue proved they would be a force to be reckoned with in the game during the drive, combining for 78 of the 83 yards on the drive that made it a 14-7 Laker lead.
After going three-and-out on their next drive, Grand Valley punted the ball away, and the Bulldogs threatened to tie the game up until Jim Yates' 24-yard field goal was wide right, giving the Lakers another opportunity to steal points away, and they did just that, going 80 yards in only five plays as Iciek found Smolen for a 39-yard touchdown catch to make it 21-7 as the game headed into halftime.
After the teams exchanged punts again to begin the second half, James Berezik and the Grand Valley offense were using a steady rushing attack to put more points up on the board until Ferris State forced a Berezik fumble on their own 47-yard line to end the threat. Ferris took advantage of the turnover and Hogue and Schneider took over to lead the Bulldogs into the endzone again. The extra point was blocked by Steve Gawronski, and it was a 21-13 Grand Valley lead.
However, the Lakers again responded, using Smolen as their primary back, as he ran for 36 of the 64 yards in the touchdown drive, including a 15-yard scamper to cap it off and make it a 28-13 game.
After Jacob McGuckin intercepted a Schneider pass in the endzone on Ferris' ensuing drive, the Lakers made them pay again, as Todd Carter put three more points on the board from 37 yards out, to put the game away. McGuckin would add another interception on the Bulldogs' next drive that was nearly taken back for a touchdown. The Lakers began the drive on the Ferris one yard line, but a great stand by the defense forced Carter out for another field goal, but NFL-hopeful Jake Visser got through and blocked the attempt.
Grand Valley was led by Berezik, who rushed the ball 13 times for 108 yards, and Smolen contributed 45 yards and a touchdown on the ground, as well as 58 yards and two touchdowns through the air. Gay ended the game with 33 yards and one touchdown receiving, and Iciek was 14-for-26 for 158 yards and three touchdowns. On defense, P.J. Beuke and Brad Howard led the way with 13 tackles each, with Howard also having one tackle for loss. Justin Victor had nine tackles and also combined for a sack with Gary Anderson, who had five total tackles. Skuta had five tackles, 1.5 for loss, to go along with his forced fumble.
Hogue was the Bulldogs' do-it-all guy, rushing for 46 yards on 11 carries and catching 10 passes for 77 yards. Schneider had 55 yards rushing and one touchdown, while Holloman led the team with 63 yards rushing and a touchdown. Schneider finished the game 20-of-32 passing for 193 yards and two interceptions. Visser had only three tackles in the game to go with his field goal block, as Ferris was led by Kevin Noe's 11 tackles and Jordan Moore's nine tackles.
This week, the Lakers take on Michigan Tech in Allendale. The Huskies are coming off a big national television victory over rival Northern Michigan, 47-21. A preview for that game will be available Thursday evening right here on GVReport.com.