Tradition • Character • Service

Tradition • Character • Service

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Hillsdale Daily News: GVSU Lakers Showing Plenty of Respect for the Chargers

Hillsdale Daily News

The Grand Valley State football team was forced to shed its invincibility cloak, thanks to a historic upset at the hands of Hillsdale earlier this season, and while the Lakers aren’t exactly plotting for revenge this week, they are making sure they don’t make the same mistakes twice.

GVSU lost its No. 1 ranking in a 27-24 loss at Frank “Muddy” Waters Stadium on Oct. 10, but a home loss to the Chargers in the regional semifinals Saturday would mean the end of their season and talks of their reign as the GLIAC’s best being over.

At a press conference earlier this week, Lakers’ head coach Chuck Martin and his players gave plenty of credit to what Hillsdale has accomplished, and talked about ways they can reverse the outcome of the first meeting.

“It’s different when you play a team in the playoffs who is in your league, because there’s not a whole lot of surprises. There’s a reason Hillsdale is 10-2, there’s a reason we’re 10-1,” Martin said. “Neither team is going to come out and jump into the Wildcat offense and do something completely different. On the other hand, every time you play a time either next season or the second time the same season you’ll try and change things that didn’t work to give your kids a better chance in certain situations.”

Martin had plenty to say about the Chargers’ ability to convert key first downs late in the game and the difficulty his team had in trying contain Andre Holmes and AJ Kegg. But ultimately, Martin said he was most disappointed with the fact his team had numerous chances to change the outcome, but they failed every time.

“For me, we had the ball twice in the fourth quarter in their territory and we had a one-point lead, and if we score we go up eight,” he said. “For me the game was up and down and up and we had two fourth quarter opportunities on offense to ice the game. And we take pride in closing things out and finishing our job.”

Instead Billy Kanitz scored on a 1-yard run with :36 seconds remaining to hand the Lakers their first league loss since 2004.

All-conference QB Brad Iciek said he and his teammates certainly learned a thing or two about passion and desire from that loss.

“I think on the plays they needed to make they made them on us, especially on third- and fourth-down and short. They wanted it a little more, they were a little more hungry than us, so we’ve got to be focused, be more prepared than they are and see what happens,” he said. “We know it’s do or die, it’s been that way for us since we lost to them before. We’ve just got to be ready to go, we know it’s one game at a time and we can’t wait to play them on Saturday.”

The Lakers had 462 total yards of offense and turned the ball over just once in the first meeting, but Martin said his team simply faltered inexcusably in the clutch.

“Give credit to Hillsdale. Every key defensive snap for Hillsdale they made the play and our offense didn’t and their kids stepped up and executed in key situations,” he said. “We tried to run in key situations, we tried to throw in key situations and whatever we tried did not work, so we’ve obviously got to look at what we did on third- and fourth-down and in the red zone and give our kids the best opportunity for success.”

Full Article as posted at Down in the Dale Blog

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