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Photo Credits - Maddie Westergard
Football - Sat, Sep. 23, 2017
Missouri Valley College
(8)Grand View

Des Moines, Iowa – In a battle of the Vikings, Grand View University defeated Missouri Valley College 37-24 in a hot homecoming game at Duke Williams Stadium. GVU's steady running and opportune passing attack along with some big plays by the defense propelled them ahead of their southern division foes. Grand View improved to 4-1 overall, while Missouri Valley fell to 1-4.

After a defensive stop on the opening kickoff, Grand View took advantage of a short field after a miscued snap from the Missouri Valley punting unit. GVU received the ball on MVC's 6-yard line. It took Grand View one play to reach pay dirt. Gabe Richey (SO/Panora, IA / Panorama HS) took a jet sweep and with an outstretched arm crossed the pylon to give Grand View a 7-0 lead.

After a three-and-out from the Grand View defense, the offense once again took the field. The Missouri Valley defense was able to force a 4th down of its own, but Jordan Knock (SR/Gilbert, IA / Gilbert HS) kept the snap and plunged through the line to earn a first down. Shortly after Knock found running back Jett Kettwick (JR/Clarinda, IA / IWCC) in the back corner of the end zone. This gave Grand View a 14-0 advantage.

Grand View was not immune to the special teams' turnovers. After a muffed punt, Missouri Valley regained possession on the GVU 3-yard line. The Grand View defense was able to hold strong for the first three plays with great individual efforts by Ramel Lane (SR/Urbandale, IA / Urbandale HS) and Ben Slavens (SO/Bettendorf, IA / Pleasant Vall) who broke up a pass and tripped up the quarterback respectively to keep MVC out of the end zone for a couple plays, but Missouri Valley would eventually take the ball in in order to decrease the GVU lead to 14-7 at the end of the first quarter.

Missouri Valley would strike again. Sophomore quarterback Jake Bridges looked like Johnny Manziel as he extended plays with his feet and elusiveness. He gained 29 yards on the ground and threw for 51 yards including the resulting touchdown. This evened the score at 14 apiece.

Grand View would soon regain its lead. Assisted by a slew of Missouri Valley penalties, GVU was able to move down the field. The drive was capped off by a great run from Kettwick. The offensive line created a hole in which the junior running back was able to scamper 33 yards untouched into the end zone.

The final big plays of the first half came on the defensive side of the ball for Grand View. In on possession Russell Jones (JR/Waterloo, IA / East High / IWC) was able to blow up the MVC's quarterback draw inside the Grand View 5-yard line to force a field goal. The field goal was converted. Then it was defensive back Jeremy Johnson (JR/Iowa City, IA / City High HS) who ended Missouri Valley's 2-minute drill with an interception to take Grand View into the halftime intermission leading 21-17.

Grand View returned to the field after receiving the kickoff. GVU used a methodical drive that took 6:18 minutes off the clock. Travien Smith (SR/Mckinney, TX / North HS) provided the Grand View offense with a number of explosive plays while rushing and receiving the ball. As GVU neared the end zone, a mixture of penalties and negative plays resulted in a long third down for the home team. Alex Brammer (SR/Ames, IA / Ames HS) made two big catches in a row to extend the Grand View drive. The first he ripped away from the defensive back and the second he stopped playing on the opposite side of the sticks to convert on fourth down. Missouri Valley would force another 4th down inside their own 5-yard line. For a second time, the Knock would shoulder the load in the short yardage situation for GVU, as he bulldozed his way over the goal line to bring the lead to 28-17.

The defense would once again make a big play. Kaleb Wezdenko (SR/Morongo Valley, CA) laid a big hit on the Missouri Valley quarterback as he was trying to scramble from the pocket. Bubba Rutledge (SO/Tama, IA / South Tama HS) who entered the game due to injury came up with the loose ball on the Grand View 29-yard line. The following offensive possession for GV resulted in a made 23-yard field goal by Eric Fridl (FR/New Berlin, WI/ Catholic Memor) to increase the lead to 31-17.

Missouri Valley would travel the length of the field and score to shorten the lead at the end of the third quarter, but Grand View would respond with a touchdown of their own in the fourth. Knock threw the ball up the sideline to a streaking Brammer who outran the back end of the MVC defense to find the end zone. A failed PAT attempt made the score 37-24.

This would be the final score of the day. The two squads battled the rest of the day, but neither was able to fully capitalize on the other's miscues. One can assume that the heat had taken a large tole on both sides. Missouri Valley would make one final push to gain momentum, but instead, Johnson intercepted Bridges in the end zone for the second time in the afternoon to all but seal it the deal.

Keys of the Game…

Grand View outgained Missouri Valley 537 to 373 yards overall and 233 to 49 yards on the ground. GVU was led by Kettwick and Smith, while MVC was led by Bridges.

Neither team played a clean game. Errors were made by both the offense and special team units on both sides of the field. Grand View won the turnover battle, however. They committed three turnovers but generated four takeaways.

In the midst of injury, Grand View reserves entered the game and made a strong impact. On the offensive side of the ball, Kettwick filled in for Jerry Lowe (SO/Tama, IA / South Tama HS) who spent the day on the sideline. Defensively, Rutledge came in at linebacker during the second half and recorded two sacks and recovered a fumble.

Players of Note...

Jordan Knock was 27-42 for 304 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran in for a touchdown. This was the first game in three weeks that Knock has seen action in the second half.

Alex Brammer caught six passes for 109 yards and one touchdown. He caught his touchdown early in the fourth quarter. This extends his streak of six straight games with a touchdown reception dating back to last season.

Grand View used a two-headed monster of Jett Kettwick and Travien Smith to punish Missouri Valley on the ground. Kettwick ran for 119 yards on 19 attempts and a touchdown, while Smith ran for 99 yards on 17 carries.

Defensive back Jeremy Johnson had a big day for the Grand View secondary. He accounted for 5 total tackles for GVU and also snagged two interceptions. Another defensive standout for the Vikings was Russell Jones who garnered 11 tackles of his own, which included 2.5 tackles for loss. Jones also earned a .5 a sack.

Up Next…

Grand View will take on the Pioneers of MidAmerica Nazarene University (22) next Saturday, September 30th at 1:00 p.m. at Olathe, KS. Check back with for a complete recap and follow the Vikings on social media (@VikingAthletics) for in-game updates.

Overall HAAC Streak
6-1 (.857) 6-1 (.857) Won 5