Sept. 12, 2010

Allendale, Mich. - Courtesy of Grand Valley State Athletics

No. 1 ranked Grand Valley State claimed an instant classic 44-41 victory over No. 11 Hillsdale College Saturday night before a crowd of 11,637 at Lubbers Stadium. GVSU improves to 2-0 overall and 1-0 in GLIAC action, while Hillsdale falls to 1-1 and 0-1. GVSU will host Indianapolis next Saturday (Sept. 18), with kickoff set for 7 p.m.

Grand Valley State senior quarterback Kyle McMahon drove the Lakers 53 yards in 1:01, converting a fourth-and-one pass to TE Tony Carreri, completing a key second down pass for 19 yards to Greg Gay and then finished drive with an 8 yard TD pass to junior WR Jovonne Augustus with 16 seconds left to give GVSU a 42-41 lead. McMahon then ran in the two-point conversion attempt for the 44-41 lead. Free safety Erik Thompson picked off one last attempt from Hillsdale QB Troy Weatherhead to preserve the win. The Lakers' last scoring drive put the finishing touches on a wild DII football game between two ranked opponents.

Grand Valley State and Hillsdale combined for 85 points, 926 yards, 54 first downs and nearly identical rushing and passing totals. Hillsdale was able to stay the course with its ball control offensive game plan. The Chargers drove 78 yards in 10 plays and used 5:01 off the clock to take the early lead. Cam White scored on a 1 yard run and Colin McGreevy added the PAT. GVSU struck back quickly with its high-paced offense, driving 62 yards in seven plays for a touchdown. Senior QB Kyle McMahon scored the first of his three first-half rushing TDs and Jay Jandasek added the PAT. The drive took just 3:02 off the clock. Hillsdale's Joe Glendening put the finishing touches on a 12-play, 73-yard drive that took 6:38 off the clock with a 1 yard TD run to give the Chargers a short lived 14-7 lead. McMahon directed a 6-play, 72-yard drive and scored on a 10 yard run to tie the game 14-14 with 12:52 left in the second quarter. The Laker defense was able to get a stop and forced a 44 yard field goal attempt that was short and wide left. GVSU then drove 73 yards in nine plays as McMahon hit paydirt with a 12 yard TD run and Jandasek hit his third PAT of the night to give the Lakers a 21-14 lead at the half.

GVSU was looking to put some distance between themselves and the Chargers with the opening drive of the second half, but McMahon was picked off by Kyle Carson on the second play of the second half. Hillsdale drove 22 yards in three plays as QB Troy Weatherhead hit Mike Blanchard with an 8 yard TD pass to knot the score at 21-21. The Lakers needed just 2:30 and a fake punt to reclaim the lead. LB Luther Ware took a direct snap and rushed for a first down on fourth and one, followed by a 47 yard TD run by senior RB Justin Sherrod on the very next play to give GVSU a 28-21 lead. Hillsdale answered with a 10 yard TD run by Glendening, but Sherrod capped an 11-play, 76-yard drive with a 1 yard TD run. The PAT hit the upright and the GVSU lead was six (34-28). The Chargers took their first lead of the night as Weatherhead directed an 8-play, 59-yard scoring drive. Anthony Mifsud caught a 3 yard TD pass and McGreevy added the PAT for a 35-34 Charger lead. Hillsdale stopped Grand Valley State on a fourth and one play from the HC 1 yard line and then drove the length of the field for a Glendening 7 yard TD run to up the lead to 41-34 with 1:17 remaining. However, that is when the final fireworks started. Ware broke through and blocked the PAT, scooped up the ball and scored a defensive conversion. GVSU downed the ensuing squib kick on the 47 yard line with 1:17 on the clock to set up the game winning drive.

The Laker offense tallied 475 yards, including 235 via the ground and 240 through the air. Justin Sherrod rushed 16 times for 148 yards and two TDs, while Kyle McMahon added 41 yards and three rushing TDs. Norman Shuford rushed for 40 yards on four carries. McMahon completed 22-of-37 passes for 240 yards and one TD. Junior WR Greg Gay caught five passes for 100 yards, while Carreri hauled in four catches for 45 yards. Augustus pulled down four receptions for 36 yards and the game-winning TD. Rob Carlisle led the defense with 12 tackles.

Hillsdale College's Joe Glendening rushed for a career-high 224 yards and three TDs, while QB Troy Weatherhead completed 22-of-28 passes for 241 yards and two TDs. Kyle Carson led the Charger defense with 10 tackles and an interception.