GLIAC Games Of The Week: Stakes High At Crosstown Showdown
GLIAC Games Of The Week: Stakes High At Crosstown Showdown
The regular season comes to a close across Division II football this week, including a trio of important conference showdowns on the GLIAC slate.
The regular season comes to a close across Division II football this week, and with a trio of conference showdowns on the GLIAC slate, there still is plenty to play for, and there is potential for a three-way tie atop the league, if games go a certain way.
The league got a little clarity last week, as Ferris State put the clamps on upstart Davenport, keeping the Bulldogs a game back of No. 1 Grand Valley State, which continued to roll along with an easy win over Wayne State.
This week, its Grand Valley and Davenport's turn to face off, with a Davenport win potentially throwing the league into chaos, while Ferris State will look to close the regular season in impressive fashion to ensure itself a home playoff game.
Northern Michigan is the lone team in the GLIAC not playing a league foe this week, closing out the year on the road against Lake Erie.
Grand Valley State At Davenport
The stakes for the Crosstown Showdown are either very simple, or very complicated, depending on the outcome.
The easiest scenario is Grand Valley continues to do what it has done all season and dominates a good team to close out the year 11-0 and 6-0 in the GLIAC on the way to the No. 1 seed in the Super Region.
Should Davenport pull off the upset at home, and Ferris State top lowly Wayne State, it would create a three-way tie atop the GLIAC standings. Then come the tiebreakers to see who gets the league's automatic bid to the postseason and potentially seeing all three teams host a home playoff game.
Grand Valley romped past Wayne State last week 42-14, again showing all they have to offer from both a top 10-ranked offense and defense.
That score makes it sound closer than it was, though. GVSU was up 42-0, before Wayne State scored two garbage time touchdowns.
GVSU racked up just 365 yards in the win, instead using its efficiency to wear down the Warriors, rushing 39 times for 172 yards and four touchdowns.
While maybe it wasn't the biggest offensive day, the defense held the Warriors to 212 yards, most of those coming in the fourth quarter after the game was well in-hand.
They'll try to slow down a strong Davenport offense for the second week in a row, after the Panthers were stopped at Ferris State last week, 28-7.
The Panthers trailed 14-7 early in the third quarter, but two Ferris State touchdown runs and a swarming defense prevented Davenport from getting any closer.
The Panthers mustered just 183 yards and 11 first downs in the defeat, their first of the season, and tossed a pick six in the first quarter to put themselves in an early hole.
Even if they don't win, it might be important for the Panthers to post a respectable score, as they currently sit fifth in the Super Region rankings, with the top 7 getting spots in the postseason.
GVSU crushed the Panthers last season in Allendale, 42-0, holding Davenport to 102 yards of offense in the game.
Ferris State At Wayne State, 1 p.m.
While this may not be much of a game, the stakes are potentially high for Ferris State. A win, coupled with a GVSU loss to Davenport, could mean the Bulldogs sliding from No. 2 to No. 1 in the Super Region rankings - with it, the first-round bye that comes with the top seed.
Ferris picked up its biggest win of the season over previously unbeaten Davenport last week, shutting down the Panthers, while grinding out 18 of their 26 first downs on the ground.
WATCH: Postgame press conference after today's win over Davenport w/comments from Coach Annese, QB Mylik Mitchell and DB Justin Payoute! pic.twitter.com/WRYEchfw4d— Ferris Athletics (@ferrisathletics) November 6, 2022
Ferris could have won the game going away, more than doubling Davenport's yards and rushing for just under 300 total yards, but struggled to complete drives, including at least one turnover on downs in Davenport territory.
They'll face a Wayne State team that is ready for the season to be over, sitting at 1-8 and on a seven-game losing streak.
Ferris State rolled last season in Big Rapids, 35-13, to cap an undefeated regular season on the way to the national championship.
Michigan Tech at Saginaw Valley
A pair of teams that will see their seasons come to an end after Saturday's game, with the winner finishing at .500 in the league and claiming fourth place.
While a potential 8-3 season isn't a bad year by any means for SVSU, they'll be left wondering 'what if' after losing by five to Ferris State, then by one to Davenport.
A win in either of those games likely would have put the Cardinals either in the playoffs or firmly in the discussion.
The Cardinals picked up a 30-21 win over Northern Michigan last week, running for 277 yards and three touchdowns in the victory.
Michigan Tech found its way back into the win column last week with a 28-24 road win over non-league foe Hillsdale, rallying from being down 24-14 early in the fourth quarter, then getting the winning touchdown with 40 seconds left on a Will Ark pass to Ethan Champney.
This is the second meeting between the two teams, with SVSU taking a 35-13 win in Houghton in September.
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