Story and photo courtesy of Grand Valley State Athletics
TIFFIN, Ohio - No. 4 Grand Valley State claimed a 28-0 road victory over Tiffin University Saturday afternoon. GVSU improves to 3-0 overall and 2-0 in GLIAC action, while the Dragons fall to 1-2 overall and 0-2 in GLIAC play. GVSU will host Ohio Dominican next Saturday (Sept. 22) at Lubbers Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
On the Lakers' second possession junior QB Heath Parling hit senior WR Charles Johnson with a 58-yard pass down to the Tiffin 1-yard line on first down. GVSU then finished the drive with a Parling to Johnson slant pass for a touchdown and Marco Iaderosa added the PAT for a 7-0 lead at the 5:25 mark of the first quarter.
"Charles did a nice job of running his route and Heath let him run away from the coverage into open space, said third-year head coach Matt Mitchell. The o-line also did a great job of protecting Heath to give him enough time."
Following an interception by GVSU junior CB Reggie Williams, GVSU drove 63 yards in nine plays, concluding with an 8-yard TD run by sophomore running back Michael Ratay at the 12:22 mark of the second quarter.
"Reggie did a nice job of showing one coverage and sliding into something else and he stayed on top to get into good position to make the interception," added Mitchell.
Sophomore QB Isiah Grimes hit Johnson with another 58-yard pass completion to the Dragon 9-yard line and finished the drive with a 5-yard TD pass to Ratay with 3:18 left in the first half.
"I thought Isiah did a nice job when he was pressed into duty. He was composed and looked comfortable when leading the team," said Mitchell.
Freshman RB Kirk Spencer returned the second half kickoff 77 yards to the Tiffin 9-yard line to set up the Lakers' fourth score. Ratay toted the ball to the one and Grimes hit Johnson with a TD pass in the back of the end zone for a score. Iaderosa added the PAT and GVSU led 28-0 with just over a minute gone in the third quarter.
"Spencer's return was big as it set us up to make it a four-score game," said Mitchell.
The Lakers moved into Dragon territory several more times in the third and fourth quarter, but were unable to put more points on the board.
"It was a nice win and I told the team anytime you are able to pick up a win on the road you have to feel good," said Mitchell.
The shutout was the Lakers' first since blanking Ferris State in 2010 (41-0).
GVSU tallied 363 yards of total offense on just 51 plays, rushing for 157 and passing for 206. Junior RB Chris Robinson rushed for 77 yards on 12 carries, while Ratay added 65 yards and a TD on eight carries. Grimes completed 10-of-15 passes for 143 yards and two TDs, while Parling completed 2-of-4 passes for 59 yards and a score. Charles Johnson hauled in six passes for 139 yards and two TDs.
The Laker defense limited Tiffin to 313 total yards, led by junior LB Charles Hills' team-high nine tackles. Williams added six tackles and a pick, while Deonte Hurst pitched in six tackles. GVSU recorded two QB sacks (-13) eight tackles for loss (-48).