A rare and exceedingly hot and humid September day greeted the Wolves first trip to the Eastern time zone on September 1st, 2011. Temperatures exceeded 90 degrees F with high humidity right up until kickoff. 2011’s Opener would be Coach Matt Mitchell’s second season with something to prove.
The July-like weather greeted a great crowd of 15,004, the third largest in GVSU history along with GVSU football alumni Brad Iciek, Scott Blasko, Alex Gilde, Curt Anes, Nick Lawrence and more, including a huge GVSU student presence.
A crazy first half resulted in 23 points for the home boys in black and none for the visitors from Oregon. Highlights from the opening half included GVSu’s first-half drive of just over two minutes which drove the Lakers sixty-some yards to go ahead 7-0. Later on the Lakers fumbled the ball inside the Wolves ten yard line squandering a major scoring chance. The next play from scrimmage the boys in black got a controversial call that resulted in a safety in the South endzone taking the home team to a 9-0 first half lead. Up next, Jovonne Augustus climbed the ladder to give GV a 16-0 lead, and then Grand Valley blocked a Western Oregon punt deep in Wolves territory and ran it to pay-dirt to give the Mitten-men a 23-0 lead going into the half.
The second half started with a GVSU kickoff to the Wolves, which was fumbled and ultimately recoved by the vistors to their fortune. Both teams traded scores and in the end the Lakers ended up with a 44-20 season and home opening win to start 2011. The Lakers second and thrird strings came on late to close out the opener and did a pretty respectable job.
Parling went 15/27 for 205 yards, and on defense Brandon Allen recorded five tackles and a sack on the night. We’ll have more stats from the opener as well as a look-ahead to Hillsdale in the coming week. Have a fun and safe Labor Day weekend GV nation!!