On the downside for Tiffin University, it was shutout at home by the No. 3 team in Division II, Grand Valley State.
The upside? The Dragons may have found their running back.
Dominique White, a transfer from Division I Eastern Michigan, ran for 169 yards on 23 carries. He averaged better than seven yards a carry.
"He showed up today," Tiffin coach Gary Goff said. "That's the reason we brought him here, was to run like that."
White was the first Dragons to reach 100 yards on the ground in almost two years. His total was the most rushing yards for a TU player since Austin Copton had 168 against Lincoln in 2006.
But for all the numbers, White, and none of his teammates reached the end zone. The Lakers, despite losing quarterback Heath Parling in the first half to a knee injury, got a huge game from receiver Charles Johnson and beat TU, 28-0.
Grand Valley State 28,
Grand Valley State71470 - 28
Tiffin0000 - 0
GVSU - Charles Johnson 1 pass from Heath Parling (Marco Iaderosa kick), 5:25
GVSU - Michael Ratay 8 run (Iaderosa kick), 12:24
GVSU - Ratay 5 pass from Isiah Grimes (Iaderosa kick), 3:18
GVSU - Johnson 1 pass from Grimes (Iaderosa kick), 13:58]
RUSHING: Grand Valley State - Chris Robinson 12-77; Ratay 8-65; Parling 1-7; Kirk Spencer 3-7; Ben Hutchins 4-7; Brandon Green 1-1; Team 1-0; Brandon Betizel 1-(minus 6). Tiffin - Dominique White 23-164; James Hall 3-6; Jeremy Armstrong 1-(minus 2); James Capello 9-(minus 6); Tomislav Derezic 1-(minus 18) .
PASSING: Grand Valley State - Grimes 10-15-1-143; Heath Parling 2-4-0-59; Brandon Betizel 1-1-0-4. Tiffin - Capello 24-40-1-169.
RECEIVING: Grand Valley State - Johnson 6-139; Ratay 2-10; Jamie Potts 1-24; Israel Woolfork 1-17; Joe Wirth 1-7; Keontrae' Miskel 1-5; Justice Wright 1-4. Tiffin - Marcus Beaurum 5-50; Obadiah Dykes 4-51; Jeremy Ortiz 4-6; Hall 2-14; Bertram Marks 2-8; Armstrong 2-6; Joseph Lofton 1-10; Pedro Correa 1-7; Mark Rogers 1-6.
Parling completed just two passes for 59 yards and a touchdown before leaving the game.
"Preliminary reports don't look good," GVSU coach Matt Mitchell said of Parling's injury. "But we'll have to get in with our team doctors and our trainers and kind of see where he's at."
Replacing Parling was Isiah Grimes, who completed 10 passes for 143 yards and two scores. Johnson, looking every bit like an NFL prospect, had six catches for 139 yards and two TDs.
"He's probably talent-wise a legitimate NFL receiver, but it's not just the talent," Mitchell said of Johnson. "He also possesses a really good work ethic and understands what we're trying to do within the scheme of our offense."
Johnson, who stands 6-foot-3 and is 225 pounds, caught a pair of one-yard touchdown passes, but had a number of long receptions to set up scoring drives.
Goff was asked if he expected to see a better receiver against the Dragons this season.
"I don't think so," Goff said. "They're very talented. That's a good football team; they could go very far in the playoffs."
For Tiffin, quarterback James Capello threw for 109 yards, and had an interception. He was sacked twice after enduring seven last week against Michigan Tech.
TU's offensive line featured right tackle Max Pollum and left guard Brandon Rinker, both freshmen.
"I'm proud of this team," Goff said. We've just got to grow up."
Dragons' safety Brandon Person intercepted Grimes in the second half. Linebacker Kyle Finch had the team's only sack.