Grand Valley State rallies from early deficit to beat Colorado State-Pueblo
PUEBLO, Colo. -- Grand Valley State overcame a 16-0 first-quarter deficit to claim a 34-30 Division II second-round playoff game road victory against Colorado State-Pueblo on Saturday afternoon. GVSU (11-2) will now host West Texas A&M next Saturday. CSU-Pueblo finished the 2013 campaign 11-1.
Colorado State-Pueblo scored on three of its first four possessions and GVSU had minus-26 yards after its first three drives. However, GVSU got on the board late in the first quarter as QB Heath Parling directed a four-play, 68-yard drive for a TD. Parling hit tight end Jamie Potts with a 40-yard touchdown, but the PAT was missed and the Thunderwolves led 16-6.
The Lakers scored 21 second-quarter points, the first coming on a Parling to Kirk Spencer swing pass that covered 15 yards and Joel Schipper added the PAT to pull the Lakers within three (16-13). Colorado State answered with a 10-play, 75-yard drive to up its lead to 23-13, but the Lakers would dominate the rest of the half. GVSU moved 75 yards in eight plays as Parling hit WR Darryl Pitts with an 18 yard TD pass and with just 22 seconds left in the first half Parling hit Pitts again, this one covering 5 yards and the Lakers had a 27-23 lead at the half.
Colorado State-Pueblo took a 30-27 lead midway through the third quarter, but the Laker offense answered again, covering 67 yards in four plays. Parling hit WR Brandan Green with a 47-yard completion, then on third-and-12 Parling connected with TE Joe Wirth with a 22-yard touchdown.
The Laker defense held in the fourth quarter as safety Brad Horling picked off a Chris Bonner pass and then with less than 3 minutes left in the game and CSU-Pueblo on the GVSU 16-yard line the Laker defense got a fourth-down stop. Kirk Spencer sealed the win with an 18-yard run on first down and with the Lakers facing a third-and-3 Spencer burst through the line for a 57-yard run to the CSU-Pueblo 2.
GVSU outgained the Thunderwolves 446-408, despite running 12 fewer plays. Parling completed 16 of 28 passes for 316 yards and five TDs. Spencer toted the ball 15 times for 137 yards, while Chris Robinson added 38 yards on 14 carries. Potts hauled in six catches for 123 yards and one TD, Pitts four for 44 yards and two TDs and Green two for 68.
Deonte Hurst led the defensve with eight tackles, a QB sack and 1.5 tackles for loss. Isiah Dunning added six tackles and a QB sack, while Eric Thompson and Charles Hill each tallied six stops. Reggie Williams recorded four pass deflections.