ALLENDALE, Mich. — #4 Grand Valley State claimed a 43-7 Family Day victory over #19 Assumption before the 10th largest crowd in Lubbers Stadium history (15,844) Saturday (Sept. 16) afternoon. The Lakers improve to 2-1 on the year, while Assumption falls to 2-1. GVSU will have a bye next Saturday (Sept. 23) before heading to Saginaw Valley State for the GLIAC opener Sept. 30 at 6 p.m.
It took the Lakers just three plays to score on its opening possession as RS freshman Kellen Reed took a shovel pass from senior QB Cade Peterson and raced 67 yards for a touchdown. GVSU and Assumption traded turnovers midway through the first quarter as neither team was able to get going offensively. Assumption produced just 27 total yards in its first four possessions. Junior WR Darrell Johnson returned a punt 31 yards to the Assumption 23 yard line to set up a 21 yard field goal for senior kicker Josh Gorball early in the second quarter and Grand Valley State added another touchdown late in the first half, driving 91 yards in 13 plays. Peterson hit Darrell Johnson with a 4 yard pass and Gorball added the PAT for a 17-0 halftime lead for the Lakers.
Assumption was stuffed on a fourth down play on its opening possession of the second half and the Lakers drove 52 yards in seven plays for a touchdown on the their ensuing drive. Peterson rambled 20 yards for the first of his two rushing TDs on the day. The Greyhounds answered with an 11-play, 75-yard drive for a score, but Peterson directed a 6-play, 81-yard scoring drive to extend the lead to 30-7. Reed turned in the big play with a 48 yard run and senior RB Tariq Reid finished the drive with a one yard TD run. Peterson rushed for his second touchdown of the day, this one covering 13 yards that concluded a 7-play,49-yard drive. QB Alex Thole directed a 6-play, 32-yard drive to conclude the scoring. RS freshman RB Derrick Woods went the final yard for his first career touchdown.
The GVSU offense produced 496 yards of total offense, 251 via the rush and 245 through the air. Assumption managed just 272 yards on 63 plays (4.3 ypp)
Peterson completed 15-of-23 passes for 237 yards and two TDs, while rushing for 60 yards and two scores on eight carries. Reed added 48 rushing yards to his 67 receiving yards, while sophomore Syone Usma-Harper chipped in 44 rushing yards. Woods netted 42 rushing yards and RS freshman Khalil Eichelberger added 30 yards. Darrell Johnson led the receiving unit with six catches for 69 yards and junior Cody Tierney added three catches for 35 yards. Johnson returned two punts 47 yards and Reed returned two kickoffs 42 yards.
Senior DE Christian McCarroll led the defense with a career-high 10 tackles, 1.5 QB sacks (-8), 2.5 TFL (-9) and two QB hurries. Senior safety Cole Patritto and senior LB Abe Swanson each added seven stops. Swanson picked off a tipped pass and Jason Hardy returned an interception 48 yards to set up the Lakers' final score.