October 27, 2012 - There would be no more homecoming magic for the Hillsdale College football team in this game.
The Chargers were seeking their third win in four years against 23rd-ranked Grand Valley State University, and second homecoming win over the Lakers since 2009. But GVSU put on an extremely impressive performance on both sides of the ball, and defeated the Chargers 42-23 before more than 2,800 fans at Frank "Muddy" Waters Stadium Saturday afternoon.
Hillsdale is now 6-3 overall and 6-2 in the GLIAC, while the Lakers improved to 7-2 with the win. The Chargers make the long trek to Houghton to play Michigan Tech University next weekend.
The day got off to a promising start for the Chargers, as they scored on their opening possession to take a 6-0 lead. But that would end up being the high point of the afternoon, as the Lakers mixed the run and pass to maximum effectiveness all game long.
A key play occured shortly after Hillsdale's touchdown. The Lakers fumbled the subsequent kickoff return, and the Chargers recovered. But the play was nullified due to an offsides call on the Chargers on the kick. Instead of gaining possession deep in GVSU territory with a chance to go up two scores early, Grand Valley State took over, dodging a huge bullet.
Although Daniel Pittman would recover a Laker fumble in the end zone on the next possession, the Chargers were unable to capitalize, leaving the door open for the Lakers to strike. The Lakers went on to generate 546 yards of total offense in the game, the most allowed by Hillsdale this season.
This was the most decisive regular season loss suffered by Hillsdale since Oct. 3, 2009 at Findlay.
Senior RB Joe Glendening, playing in his final home game, finished just 13 yards shy of Scott Schulte's all-time school rushing record. He played with heart and determination despite facing a deficit most of the game, carrying the ball 28 times for 157 yards and a touchdown, the 60th of his career.
The Lakers had two players eclipse the 100-yared mark in rushing yards, while GVSU quarterback Isiah Grimes completed 16 of 21 passes for 259 yards and two touchdowns.
Charger QB Anthony Mifsud, also playing his home finale, went 16-for-25 for 171 yards and a score. Sophomore QB Sam Landry was impressive in a backup role, directing the Chargers on a 95-yard scoring drive on Hillsdale's final possession. Landry passed for 44 yards and rushed for 38, to give Hillsdale fans a glimpse of a possible future at QB.
Tight end Kegan Smith caught his first career touchdown pass, from 26 yards out, to open the scoring, powering through several Laker defenders on a highlight-film play in the first quarter. Junior Andrew Mott led the team with six receptions for 59 yards.