DES MOINES - Drake's defense was up to the challenge and more Thursday as the Bulldogs kicked off the 2012 season with an easier-than-expected victory over Grand View University at Drake Stadium.
The Bulldog defense recorded nine sacks and held the Vikings to just 241 total yards in the 28-8 win. Drake also held Grand View to just 91 rushing yards in the win.
Michael Roane and Travis Merrill had 11 and 10 tackles, respectively, to lead the Drake defense, while Matt Acree had nine tackles, four tackles for loss and two sacks. Tyler Moorehead also had three sacks and three tackles for loss for the Bulldogs, who held the Grand View offense to just six points.
The Vikings scored the first TD of the game on a 10-yard run by Darius White. The only other score came in the second quarter as Grand View scored on defense with a safety.
Drake only led 14-8 at halftime and that scored remained until the fourth quarter when the Bulldogs put the game away with two late scores.
In the fourth quarter, John Hugunin scored on a 35-yard blocked punt return and Mike Piatkowski hooked up with Dan Hohenstein on a 12-yard touchdown pass play.
Piatkowski was 25-for-41 for 271 yards and two scores. He threw one interception but completed passes to seven different receivers. Nick Rosa had four catches for a team-high 68 yards and one score, while Kevin Marshall and Michael Hudson each had six receptions.
Drake also ran the ball well, compiling 154 yards on the ground. Gary Scott rushed 17 times for 110 yards and a score in the first quarter. The other TD in the game for Drake came on a touchdown pass of 1 yard to Rosa that gave the Bulldogs the lead for good.
Drake out-gained Grand View 425-241 in the game.
Former East High quarterback Dorian Ballentine led Grand View in both rushing and passing Thursday. Ballentine rushed for 96 yards on 27 carries and also threw for 150 yards on 19-of-34 passing. He was sacked nine times in the game by Drake's defense.
Two Grand View defensive players had double-digit tackles in the loss. Dudley Bickham led the Vikings with 14 tackles, four tackles for loss and one interception. Joe Musselman also had 12 tackles.
Grand View (0-1) next plays Saturday, Sept. 8, at Olivet Nazarene University, while Drake (1-1) hosts Montana State (1-0) at Drake Stadium. The Bulldogs' home game begins at 6 p.m.