Huskies fall to No. 9 Lakers 44-21
HOUGHTON, Mich. – Michigan Tech football fell 44-21 to No. 9 ranked Grand Valley State Saturday afternoon at cool, breezy Kearly Stadium in front of 1,447 fans. The Lakers posted 320 rushing yards behind running back Tariq Reid. Reed finished with 131 yards and four touchdowns. Grand Valley State scored 30 points in the first half and stifled the Huskies offense for much of the game.
Tech gained some traction in the third quarter with a pair of touchdowns, but penalties and a fumbled snap quickly zapped their momentum. Michigan Tech (1-2, 0-0 GLIAC) lost its fifth straight game against Grand Valley State (3-0). The Huskies four-game homestand to start the 2021 season concludes next Saturday on Homecoming against Davenport at 1 p.m.
"Grand Valley is a very good football team," commented head coach Steve Olson. "They are a team that we needed to be ready to go against right from the get-go. We came out and waited around for someone else to go make a play instead of everybody doing their job to make it happen so we had a slow start. In the second half, we started to execute better on both sides of the ball but against Grand Valley, you have to play the same way on every snap if you want to be successful."
The Lakers forced mistakes early and blocked Drew Wyble's punt to gain great field position in the first quarter. Reid made it three yards into the endzone after a seven-play, 30-yard drive, taking the clock down to 6:17.
Nose guard Nate Lajoie made a critical third down stop in the red zone on the Lakers' next possession to force a field goal, but GVSU made it 17-0 when running back Aryuan Cain-Veasey found room up the middle for a 48-yard touchdown with 11:45 to play in the second quarter. Quarterback Cade Peterson took the ball 10 yards into the endzone himself with 4:46 to go, but a high snap cost the Lakers the extra point.
After another punt by Wyble, Grand Valley State scored again in the final minute of the half. Jack Provencher began with a sprint down the left side for 26 yards. Then Peterson connected with Jayk Slager for 30 yards. Reid needed two yards at the line to grab six more points and a 30-0 GVSU halftime lead.
Determined to get back in the game, quarterback Drew Ark laid in a 38-yard pass to Justin Davis and the Huskies got on the scoreboard with an 8-yard strike to wide receiver Jordan Janssen. The Huskies immediately came up with an onside kick near midfield but a sack at the GVSU 38-yard line for a loss of nine eventually stalled the drive.
Three plays later, Michael Bates Jr. nabbed an interception at the Huskies 37-yard line and took it 67 yards for six more points. Michigan Tech appeared to have the Lakers stopped at midfield on the ensuing possession, but an offside penalty extended the drive and Reed ran it in again from 28 yards which put the game further out of reach.
Kyle Wood scored the final touchdown of the game for Michigan Tech on a quarterback keeper with 2:49 left in the game, an eight-yard gain.
Michigan Tech totaled 233 of offense and converted 5-of-15 third downs. Ark completed 16-of-26 passes for 136 yards, one touchdown, and zero interceptions. The Huskies struggled in the ground game. Wood finished with 22 yards on five attempts. Emmett Boehler has 21 yards on three attempts, and William Marano collected 19 yards on six attempts. Justin Davis was effective through the air and led the team with five catches for 75 yards. Janssen hauled in six catches for 42 yards and a touchdown.
The Lakers racked up 430 yards on offense and picked up 8-of-14 third down conversions. Reid's explosive cuts were a catalyst for Grand Valley State and sophomore collected 131 yards on 13 attempts. Slager made two receptions for 45 yards at wide receiver. Peterson completed 9-of-19 passes for 108 yards and one interception.