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5 things to take away from Saturday’s ‘Grand’ upset of No. 1


1. Stats only tell part of the story
Grand Valley won the numbers game in total yards (462-324), takeaways (2-1) and time of possession (34:28-25:32), but heart and execution down the stretch earned Hillsdale the win. A 12-play, 87-yard drive for a field goal and an 11-play, 67-yard drive for the go-ahead score showed the resolve of a champion.

2. HC’s ‘special’ teams were just that
If there was one Charger unit that flat out dominated the Lakers it was the most underappreciated of them all. Not only did Mark Petro make a pair of clutch field goals, the Chargers averaged 31.2 yards per kickoff return including a 52-yarder by Mike Blanchard. Eric Schweller also averaged 47.5 yards per punt. GVSU? Only 33 per punt, only 18 per kick return and a wide right on the game-tying field goal. The defining phase of this upset.

3. Weatherhead shows critics he’s for real
A few tough road games and falling short in tight games, such as Ashland last year and Northwood this year had people like me wondering if we’d seen Troy’s best. Apparently not. He shook off an INT late in the third quarter and completed five of his final six passes. Most importantly, he will be remembered as the field general who helped end THE STREAK.

4. What happens right after a TD does matter
 PAT’s are kind of like free throws and Grand Valley was very much the football equivalent of Shaq Saturday afternoon. After Justin Trumble missed the PAT kick following the Lakers first score, GVSU failed on a pair of two-point conversion  plays later in the contest. When you score three touchdowns and come away with just six points three times and you end up losing by three it’s hard to ignore gimmes that turned to bogeys.

5. Playoffs? Shh, don’t tell anyone
Don’t look now, but nine days after a road loss to Findlay looked to crush this team’s hopes and dreams, their heads are back above water. The never-ending trip to Marquette to play NMU could be a trap, especially with the way the No. 23 Cats (5-1) have been playing, but if they escape the U.P. with a win the Chargers are going to have a case to keep building on. They beat No. 15 (Ashland) and the best in the land, plus they still have a date with GLIAC foe Wayne State, formerly of the Top 25 and still in the “receiving votes” arena. Even with a third loss somewhere, three, or maybe even four Top 25 takedowns should mean something.

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About rjwalters

I am what you think I am — a journalist. Actually when I was hired at my current job, which by the way is Sports Editor of the Hillsdale Daily News in Hillsdale, Mich., I applied for a position titled "Wordsmith", so at my best I'll call myself a writer attempting to be a wordsmith extraordinaire.

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