Quarterback Avery Moore scrambles for a big gain during Lakers game against Ferris State on October 14.

Grand Valley takes on Harding in Division II quarterfinals

Grand Valley faces one of the nation’s top offenses in its next opponent, Harding, in the NCAA Division II football playoffs.

The No. 2-seed Lakers meet the top-seeded Bisons in the Super Region Three final at 2 p.m. on December 2 in Harding’s home of Searcy, Arkansas. It’s the first meeting between the teams.

Grand Valley (11-1) advanced to Saturday’s regional final after beating Pittsburg State in the second round of the Division II playoffs. The Lakers rallied with a 10-point fourth quarter to get the win, topped by quarterback Avery Moore’s 5-yard touchdown run with 35 seconds remaining. 

Harding (12-0) survived a close game with Central Missouri to reach the regional final. Central Missouri scored on a 6-yard touchdown pass with 22 seconds remaining to pull within a point of the Bisons. But, Harding blocked the extra-point attempt by Central Missouri to hang on for the 35-34 win.

Grand Valley’s defense, which has held opponents to less than 60 rushing yards a game (third-best in Division II) and less than 279 yards in total offense, will face a Harding flexbone offense that piles up yardage and points.

The Bisons rank among the nation’s best in several categories: No. 1 in rushing offense (418.8 yards per game); No. 2 in scoring offense (50.1 points per game) and time of possession (34:36); No. 3 in red zone offense (93.3%); and No. 7 in total offense (467.6 yards per game).

Plus, the Bisons rank fourth in the nation in total defense, limiting opponents to 233.7 yards a game, while the Lakers’ offense averages 446.4 yards.

Fans can purchase online access to the game’s stream on NCAA.com via Hudl for $9.95 per game or $19.95 for all Division II games through the quarterfinals. The game is also available on Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV and Google TV devices by downloading the NCAA Championships Pass app. 

Fans can also listen to radio broadcasts of the game on WLAV-FM 96.9 ( wlav.com ), WJRW-FM 106.1/WJRW-AM 1340 and WLCS-FM 98.3.


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