FOOTBALL PREVIEW: Charges face the ultimate test vs. top-ranked Grand Valley State Saturday night
Lakers haven’t lost to Chargers since 1994
October 8, 2008 – For anyone competing at the high level of college athletics, games like the one the Hillsdale College football team plays Saturday night are what it’s all about.
The Chargers, fresh off a 20-13 homecoming win over Findlay, travel to Allendale to battle undefeated and No. 1 ranked Grand Valley State University at 7 p.m.
These two teams haven’t played one another since Oct. 8, 2005, when the Lakers defeated the Chargers 38-10 at Frank “Muddy” Waters Stadium. Since that game, Grand Valley State has won two more Division II national championships, while Hillsdale has taken a big step up the GLIAC ladder, going 8-3 in 2007.
Hillsdale is currently part of a big traffic jam for third place in the GLIAC. Three other teams: Ferris State, Michigan Tech and Wayne State, are all tied with the Chargers with 3-2 records in conference play. Ashland is also 4-2 overall, but its 4-1 GLIAC mark put it in second place, one game behind the Lakers.
This week, the first NCAA Division II regional football rankings came out, and Hillsdale is not in the top 10. However, after this weekend, the Chargers will have already played three of the top four teams in that poll: Grand Valley State, Ashland and Michigan Tech.
Hillsdale hasn’t beaten Grand Valley State since 1994, but there have been several close games in the series betwene the teams in recent years. The games between the Chargers and Lakers were decided by five points or less in 1995, 1996, 1997 and 2000. But starting in 2001, when the Lakers rose to become a national power, the games weren’t as closely contested. The closest game between the two teams was played in 2003, when GVSU beat Hillsdale 37-24. The Lakers played just one other regular season game in 2003 that was decided by fewer points, and that was a 9-6 overtime win over the Univeristy of California-Davis, a I-AA school.