2023 GLIAC Football

GLIAC Powers Continue Playoff Paths To Possible Rematch

GLIAC Powers Continue Playoff Paths To Possible Rematch

A potential rematch of the 2022 Game of the Year looms in the Div. II Playoffs, but Grand Valley and Ferris State must first navigate tough Regional games.

Nov 23, 2022 by Ron Balaskovitz
What Happened In Oct? GVSU Vs. Ferris State

The eyes of Division II football could be forgiven for potentially looking ahead to next week, when a possible rematch between GLIAC foes Grand Valley State and Ferris State looms.

But before that game can happen, the Lakers and the Bulldogs have to take care of business this week, with a pair of tough games against opponents who dominated in the opening round last week.

Grand Valley will be well-rested for its showdown with Northeast Missouri State after sitting out last week thanks to a bye as the region’s top seed. Ferris State gets ready to host Pittsburg (KS) State after both teams rolled last week by more than 30 points.

Northwest Missouri State at Grand Valley State, Noon

After an undefeated regular season and finishing as the No. 1 ranked team in the country, the Lakers return to the field this week after a well-earned bye week for the opening round of the playoffs.

It’s been touched on many times here at FloFootball, but the Lakers come in with a top 10-ranked offense and defense, and racked up five wins over Top-25 ranked teams during the regular season. As if that’s not scary enough for Northwest Missouri State, they’ll be as rested as a team can be at this point in the season.

Northwest earned its chance at the Lakers with an impressive showing on the road against Ouachita Baptist, taking down the region’s No. 4 seed in a 47-17 upset blowout that wasn't as competitive as the final score indicates. Northwest went up 40-3 in the third quarter before easing off the throttle.

The Bearcats dominated in the trenches in that win, rushing for 177 yards, while allowing the offense to hit for 322 passing yards on just 23 completions, seeing the offense finish with 499 yards and averaging nearly eight yards per play.

Quarterback Mike Hohensee passed for all of those yards and two scores, but most importantly, no interceptions, while running back Jay Harris scored twice. Jamar Moya totaled 72 yards on 12 carries as the Bearcats spread the ball on the ground, with five different players getting four or more carries.

Receivers Kashan Griffin and Cole Hembrough each caught five passes and a touchdown in that win.

While the offense showed its depth, the defense was nearly as impressive, holding the OBU offense to just 18 rushing yards on 26 carries, and forcing a pair of turnovers.

The schools are no strangers to each other in the postseason, having met six times dating back to 2005, including back-to-back title games in '05 and '06.  

However, recent history is on the side of the Bearcats, who have won the last four meetings, including the title game in 2009, and the most recent game in 2018 in Allendale, 42-17.

Pittsburg State at Ferris State, Noon

As was the case for much of the 1st Round, Pittsburg State and Ferris State each rolled to easy wins. The Gorillas cruised past UIndy in a 35-0 shutout to maintain their unblemished record, while the Bulldogs dominated GLIAC counterpart Davenport, 41-7.


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Ferris State trailed 7-6 late in the second quarter, but took over on both sides of the ball in short order. The Bulldogs scored two touchdowns inside the last four minutes to take a 20-7 halftime lead, then on Davenport’s first possession of the second half, Vincent Cooley picked off a pass and returned it 67 yards for a score to put the game out of reach.

The Bulldog defense, a Top-10 unit themselves, held a high-powered Davenport team to just 131 total yards, and picked off three passes.

Offensively, the Bulldogs were efficient, grinding out 232 rushing yards, nearly 400 total yards, and no turnovers. Ten different players saw carries in the win, with CJ Jefferson posting 71 yards.

They’ll prepare for a 12-0 Pittsburg State team that turned in one of the most dominant pass-defense performances of the season, snagging five interceptions in the opening round. The Gorillas also scooped a fumble recovery, for good measure.

Kolbe Katsis returned the game’s opening kick for a touchdown, while Antoine Nunn Jr. had a pick-six in the fourth quarter to close out the scoring.

The Gorilla offense posted 275 passing yards, with QB Chad Dodson Jr. tossing a pair of scores on a day where they didn’t need to be their best.

Despite the success of these two programs in recent years, this is the first-ever meeting between the two.