Tony Nicolette

Week 1 Recaps

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With a sixteen-team league, we know that there are eight GLIAC games every week. Given that when I started writing this column/blog/whatever we're calling it these days more than five seasons ago (seriously? Is this my sixth year of doing this? Wow...getting old...ugh) we only had five or six games per week. Trust me when I say that the roughly 33% increase to eight is noticeable one, especially with a finite amount of writing time in the first place. With that said, it isn't so bad to handle...and it makes me glad that I dont' have weeks like this first one eleven times per year 'cause twelve games in a weekend is a bunch! Look, I love you guys and gals but not enough to write that much! Just kidding of course. Let's take a quick look at the results from Week 1.

Cal 30, Hillsdale 22

Joe Glendening (192 combined rushing and receiving yards) had the expected solid game, but Cal QB Peter Lalich went 24 of 31 for 276 yards and four TD's to outduel Joe and his Charger mates for the opening night victory. After holding a pair of first quarter leads Hillsdale basically went into an extended lull and the Vulcans took advantage by registering 23 unasnwered points. The Chargers got a late score-and-duece to make it a one-possession affair, and after holding Cal, drove deep for a chance to tie. Unfortunately, four straight chances from inside the Vulcan three went begging, including a fourth-down pass to Joe G. that was batted away.

Ashland 37, Indianapolis 14

This was a three-point affair deep into the third quarter, but the homestanding Eagles put together three back-breaking TD drives from there to cruise to a solid win over one of the GLIAC's most potent offensive clubs from a year ago. Ashand QB Taylor Housewright's yardage totals didn't eveshadow his counterpart's (Chris Mills) by much, but he was mistake-free (Mills threw two picks) and found the end zone three times on the day (two passing, one rushing). These are the kind of performances that will win a bunch of games for the Eagles this year, especially if he can count on the kind of help he received from Anthony Taylor (104 yds, TD) and Jordan McCune (80 yds) on the ground. Give credit to the AU defense for a solid performance against a good offense that will now likely run roughshod through GLVC defenses in the coming weeks.

Walsh 40, Kentucky Wesleyan 10

After falling behind early in the second quarter, the Cavaliers scored the next 40 points of the game to cruise to an easy win. Neither team was especially impressive offensively, but Walsh made up for some of that by getting a pair of special teams TD's, including an 86-yard kick-off return TD from all-purpose guru Toba Olarewaju. Olarewaju added a rushing TD, and QB Jack Dawson fund the end zone twice on the ground as well.

Gannon 36, Lake Erie 33

This see-saw affair saw the homestanding Golden Knights score the last laugh with about a minute to go. The Storm had the lead multiple times in this one, but they couldn't cash in on solid performances by RB Brandon Phenix (130 yds, 2 TD's), WR Aaron Lindgren (6 rec, 127 yds, TD), and a defense shut down Gannon's ground game (-18 yards) and registered eight sacks of Gannon QB Liam Nadler. Apparently, it was either sack Nadler or be torched by him as he totaled 420 yards and 4 TD's via the air, including the game-winner.

Notre Dame 59, Mercyhurst 42

Notre Dame tuned-up for its first (and apparently, only) GLIAC season by out-running (literally) former GLIAC member Mercyhurst in one of the country's bigger track meets from opening weekend. Pedro Powell was never corralled in tallying 243 yards and two touchdowns rushing for the Falcons. Notre Dame QB Ray Russ didn't throw for a ton of yardage, but did connect for five scoring tosses to four different receivers. While it's great that the Falcons got the win, one has to believe that the manner in which they did so isn't exactly "sustainable". Teams don't win a whole lot of games when allowing 42 points, let alone teams that allow 42 points on a night when they force EIGHT turnovers. Not a typo folks, the Falcons picked-off two passes and recovered six fumbles and still allowed a 42-spot. Anyone want to take wagers on whether or not they'll force eight turnovers when they visit Allendale Saturday?

Ferris 35, St. Francis 24

Ferris went on the road to visit one of the Top Ten teams in NAIA, and came a way with a victory despite being out-gained and out-possessed. Skyler Stoker led the attack by rushing for 129 yards and a TD, and QB Jason Vander Laan added 103 more rushing yards along with two scores to earn the victory in his first collegiate start. St. Francis QB E.J. White threw for 373 yards in the loss, and one has to wonder if he might not have shown GLIAC offensive coaches a way to move the ball against the Bulldogs.

Findlay 45, Northern Michigan 10

After keeping things close for much of the first half, Northern simply couldn't hang after Clay Belton and his mates returned from the break. Findlay's senior QB ran for one score and then threw a pair of 40+ yards TD passes, and he did all of that in the third quarter to put the game out of reach. Northern QB Ryan Morley threw for 235 yards in his first start for the Wildcats.

Northwood 54, Quincy 31

While Quincy's defense isn't exactly known as being stout, The Woodies did resemble the Northwood of old as they racked up 368 yards on the ground en route to an easy win. Bryce Lindberg led all ball-carriers with 114 yards, tallying the bulk of his yardage on scoring runs of 56 and 47 yards. QB Aaron Shavers threw for two scores despite completing only 33% of his passes, and he added a rushing TD as well. Cameron Jackson did the dirty work on the ground for the T'Wolves (15 carries, 75 yards) and found the end zone twice.

Ohio Dominican 57, Virginia-Lynchburg 6

The Panther's tune-up game for 2012 was basically a glorified scrimmage as they roughed-up UVL's offense, hold them to 101 net yards on the game. The only score that OD allowed was a fumble-return TD late in the fourth quarter. Hard to learn/glean much from this as UVL is essentially a club team, but it appears that Mark Miller will take over the controls of the Panther offense. We should know a lot more about the direction and capabilities of OD when they visit an ornery Hillsdale bunch this Saturday.

Tiffin 23, McKendree 13

Tiffin got scoring plays in all three phases of the game, including a pair of TD passes from QB James Capello. It was the first win for Tiffin against a D2 opponent since their overtime victory over Northern Michigan on September 13 of 2008.

Grand Valley 48, Western Oregon 20

Despite holding an eight-point halftime lead, the Lakers had been out-gained to that point. The defense settled-in after the break, however, and allowed only two yards of offense to WOU in the third quarter. They followed that up with three fourth quarter interceptions, returning two of those for TD's to close things out. Chris Robinson led the Laker offense with 99 rushing yards and a pair of TD's, and Reggie Williams gave the Lakers the lead for good in the first quarter with a school record 90-yard punt return for a TD. One stat that could be alarming for the Lakers was being flagged ten times for 93 yards. Truth be told, there were several personal foul penalties in particular (along with a holding call that nullified a long Charles Johnson reverse for a TD) that most would consider "soft" at best. While a long trip and some, er, "unfriendly" officials might have contributed, the Lakers are likely working on discipline as they start GLIAC play this weekend.

Saginaw Valley 28, Valdosta State 24

Despite committing four turnovers, the Cardinals managed to make clutch plays when it counted...including mounting an 11-play, 80-yard drive in the game's final minutes to earn the win. QB Jon Jennings threw three INT's on the night, but still tallied 378 passing yards and all four of the SV TD's via the air. Three of his scoring tosses went to Jeff Janis, who had 14 grabs all-tolled for 167 yards. Mark Albrecht was also over the 100-yard mark receiving for the Cards, snaring 11 balls for 120 yards and the game-winner with about a minute to play. Despite the big performances in the passing game for SV, this was a pretty major survival job. Two of their turnovers came on sustained drives that wound-up netting no points after entering the red zone. A third gave the Blazers the ball inside the SV five-yard line. Turnovers are bad enough, but the bulk of SV's came at very inopportune times and either kept the Cards from scoring or set up an easy tally for Valdosta State. Those kinds of mistakes will cost you games sooner or later, so decision-making and ball-security are no doubt big topics for coach Collins and his staff during this week's practices.

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  1. bigmrg74's Avatar
    We have ways of making you write more Tony!!
  2. champgymusa's Avatar
    Always enjoy your work! Soft call for GVSU? Can I hear a Amen? Those guys were not very good. Somewhere in Oregon there is a 7/8ers game that is missing their officials.