ALLENDALE -- The 2017 SVSU versus GVSU Battle of the Valleys took place on Saturday (Sep. 30) night in Allendale, with both teams meeting earlier in the season than the normal rivalry matchup. The Cardinals dropped Saturday night's matchup against the No. 9 nationally-ranked Lakers by a score of 34-6.
The loss makes SVSU 2-3 overall on the season with an 0-3 mark in the GLIAC while GVSU improves to 4-1 overall and 4-0 in league play.
GVSU got on the board first in Saturday's matchup, using seven plays to take a 6-0 lead on a one yard TD run after the PAT try was blocked.
Saginaw Valley responded on its next drive, responding with a score of its own on a two yard TD plunge by Nate McCrary. The play was set up by a 70 yard pass play from Ryan Conklin to Michael King. The extra point was missed and the score was tied at 6-6 with 7:38 to play in the opening quarter.
That's where it remained after the first 15 minutes, as cornerback Ryan Verhelst picked-off a pass in the endzone on the Lakers' next drive to stall a redzone scoring opportunity.
Grand Valley took advantage of a blocked punt in the second quarter, taking over at SVSU's 25 yardline to punch in another touchdown and take a 13-6 lead with 11:12 showing on the clock.
Another special teams mishap would allow the Lakers to capitalize again, as a fumbled punt return gave the home team the ball at the SV 10. GVSU scored on its first play, a pass to give it a 20-6 lead after a successful point after with 9:34 left in the first half.
The Lakers led by that same count at the half and added a touchdown on their opening drive of the second half, pushing the lead out to 27-6.
GV added the final score of the game on a 37 yard fumble return for a score, giving it the 34-6 lead. That score proved to be the final.
Inside the Boxscore
- Saginaw Valley posted a 278-224 edge in total offense, running 71 plays compared to GV's 48.
- The Cardinals held a 35:37 to 24:23 advantage in time of possession.
- Tommy Scott Jr. led with 79 yards rushing on 17 carries.
- McCrary had the touchdown run, accounting for the team's only score.
- King had 104 yards on three catches, one of those being the 70 yard strike from Conklin that set up the touchdown.
- Verhelst had the big interception in the endzone to stop a Laker scoring drive. He was named the Meijer Player of the Game.
- Michael Alexander had a game-high 10 tackles for the Cardinals while Zack Hadorn added seven with a tackle for loss.
- Dillon Dixon and Myles Collier added six stops apiece as well for the Cardinal defense.
Saginaw Valley hosts Davenport University on Saturday, October 7 in another GLIAC matchup. Kickoff is set for 3:00 p.m. at Wickes Stadium. The Panthers are coming off a 38-0 loss to Ashland on Saturday afternoon.
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