D2football.com: Tony Nicolette’s Weekly Column

Hillsdale (3-2, 4-2) at #1 Grand Valley (5-0, 5-0)

It’s Homecoming in Allendale, and GV will face the Chargers for the first time in a few seasons. The Lakers have been decidedly sharp on offense the last couple of weeks, and the defense is allowing less than five points a game in their last four outings. HC has been moving the ball pretty well lately, but they have had some trouble finishing drives and putting points on the board.

Hillsdale Keys:
– Finish Drives – If you get a chance to score points on the Lakers (or anyone, for that matter), you better do it.
– Stuff the Run – GV has been much more of a “run first” bunch this year. The Chargers are second in the league in run defense, and they’ll need to live up to that ranking this week.

GV Keys:
– Rotten Return – HC QB Troy Weatherhead (Comstock Park, MI) returns to Metro-Grand Rapids for his first start at The Shipyard. While he’s shown quite a bit of poise thus far this season, he hasn’t seen a pass rush quite like this yet. Look for GV to try and rattle him and force some mistakes, and really test Jared Veldheer and his mates with how well they can pass protect.
– The Offensive Line – It’s been terrific all year, and the Lakers have run the ball well regardless of how good the defense was that they were facing. This bunch will need to be solid again, and be sure they get a hat on Tom Korte whenever possible.

Prediction: GV has been playing at a rather high level the past two weeks. While they did split a pair of games, Hillsdale really can’t say the same. Unless these trends make a sudden, quantum shift it’s hard to think HC will go into Allendale and take this one. Grand Valley 35, Hillsdale 15.

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