By Justin Einerson, Grand View (Iowa) Assistant Sports Information Director
DES MOINES, Iowa - The No. 1 ranked Grand View (Iowa) football team started its title defense Saturday at Drake Stadium against NCAA Division I rival Drake. The Vikings took control early on and and started the season with a convincing 45-22 victory over the Bulldogs. In 2013, Grand View picked up a 21-16 win over Drake to start what would end up being an undefeated NAIA Championship season; the first football national title in school history.
Grand View showed a balanced offensive attack throughout the game, finishing with 518 total yards. Junior quarterback Derek Fulton (Bettendorf, Iowa) completed 18-of-28 passes for 293 yards and four touchdowns on the night while rushing for 127 yards on 18 carries. The Vikings rushed for 225 yards as backs Charles Badgett (St. Louis, Mo.) and Jared Scruggs (Sugarland, Texas) combined for 86 yards. Senior quarterback Dorian Ballentine (Des Moines, Iowa) also rushed for 30 yards and a touchdown.
Senior wide receiver Brady Roland (Carlisle, Iowa) had a great night for the Vikings. Roland caught seven passes for 155 yards and two touchdowns. The final catch was the most spectacular, as he rose up over a defensive back on fourth and nine in the back of the end zone and put the final nail in Drake's coffin.
Fulton used eight different receivers on the night and connected with junior Jackson Petz (Williamsburg, Iowa) and Davion Hurst (Houston, Texas) for scores.
The Vikings defense showed strength early on as they forced Drake's offense into three consecutive three-and-outs to start the game. As the defense stifled the Bulldogs attack, Fulton and company got to work. Petz was first to score for GVU as he caught a 16 yard touchdown pass with 10:33 remaining in the first half. Just over three minutes later, Fulton struck again, this time finding Roland on a 56 yard connection and scamper. Hurst was next, scoring from 35 yards out. With 18 seconds left in the opening quarter, Ballentine rushed in from three yards out and the Vikings entered the second quarter with a commanding 28-0 lead.
Late in the first quarter with Drake putting together a drive, senior linebacker Adam Wenck (Council Bluffs, Iowa) picked off a pass and sprinted 45 yards to give the Vikings a 35-7 lead into the locker room.
With less than five minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Vikings held a 38-22 lead. Drake's defense forced Grand View into a fourth and nine to go from the 30 yard line. Fulton took the snap, found Brady Roland in one-on-one coverage and gave his receiver a chance to win a jump ball in the back of the end zone. Roland pulled the ball down and finished off the 45-22 victory.
Grand View begins the NAIA portion of their schedule Saturday, Sept. 6 as they host Graceland at Williams Stadium. Kick-off is scheduled for 1 p.m.