Indianapolis Spoils Ferris Homecoming

Ferris' David Freeman tries to stay on his feet against Indianapolis (Photo by Ed Hyde)
Ferris' David Freeman tries to stay on his feet against Indianapolis (Photo by Ed Hyde)

Big Rapids, Mich. - Homecoming turned out bittersweet for the injury-riddled Ferris State Bulldogs on Saturday (Oct. 10) afternoon as FSU dropped a 34-7 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) football decision to the visiting Indianapolis Greyhounds at Top Taggart Field in Big Rapids.

The Greyhounds limited the Bulldogs to only 31 rushing yards on 25 carries and totaled 220 yards on their own on the ground in the victory.  Indianapolis jumped out to a 20-0 halftime edge and led 34-0 after three quarters before a crowd of 2,676 fans.

"Obviously, we're very disappointed we couldn't come up with a win," said FSU head coach Jeff Pierce.  "We need to execute more consistenly offensively.

"We put our defense in some tough situations and that's something we've got to get turned around."

Indianapolis scored first with 6:57 to play in the initial quarter on a four-yard run by Paul Corsaro after a short 24-yard drive, which was setup by an FSU interception.

In the second quarter, the Greyhounds scored twice with the first coming on a 71-yard march capped by Patrick Bourne's 14-yard TD run.  Then, with only 51 seconds remaining in the half, the Greyhounds found paydirt again on a eight-yard scoring pass from quarterback Rob Doyle to Mar'Quone Edmonds.  The final touchdown of the half came on the heels of a 48-yard punt return by Ryan Forney to the FSU 23-yard line.

The Greyhounds picked up right where they left off in the second half by scoring twice to put the game out of reach.  Doyle and Edmonds connected again from eight-yards out to finish a 41-yard scoring drive at 9:54 of the third period.  The final Indianapolis touchdown came with only 12 seconds to go in the third quarter on a five-yard run from Bourne, which completed a 94-yard Greyhound drive that took 13 plays and nearly six minutes.

Ferris finally found the endzone for the first time in almost 12 quarters dating back to a 17-10 league home loss to nationally top-ranked Grand Valley State (Sept. 19) when senior quarterback Kyle Parrish hooked up with senior wide receiver Chris Wilson for a 20-yard TD pass with 12:01 left in the game.  The Bulldog scoring drive took eight plays and covered 62 yards.

Indianapolis finished the game with 22 first downs and 326 offensive yards.  In addition to 220 rushing yards on 46 attempts, the Greyhounds threw for 106 yards on 18-of-29 passing.  Bourne rambled for a game-high 127 yards and two scores on 18 carries while Doyle tossed two TD passes.

Parrish completed 15-of-30 passes for 159 yards and one score, but was intercepted twice for FSU as the Bulldogs turned the ball over three times in the game.  Redshirt freshman quarterback Robert Banaszak connected on two-of-four passing attempts for 11 yards as the Bulldogs managed 170 yards in the air and  totaled 10 first downs in the outing.

Freshman slot Troy McClary had five carries for 23 yards in leading the Bulldogs on the ground while sophomore receiver Mike Ryan caught three passes for 65 yards.  Wilson had three grabs for 33 yards, redshirt freshman Tyler Thomas made three catches for 20 yards and sophomore Tom Schneider also had three receptions for 17 yards in the game.

Defensively, FSU senior linebacker Matt Ryan made a game and career-high 16 tackles, which included a sack.  Senior safety Santino Favot also had a good defensive game with 11 stops, a tackle for loss, forced fumble, fumble recovery and an interception.  Mike Dum led Indianapolis defensively with eight tackles.

The Bulldogs were also hampered by seven penalties for 58 yards and were only one-of-12 on third down conversions along with one-of-four on fourth down.  Meanwhile, the Greyhounds converted nine of 16 tries on third downs and 50% (2-4) on fourth down.  They also controlled possession time by holding the ball for 37:28 compared to only 22:32 for FSU.

"We've stayed together as a team and haven't got down on each other," said FSU's Chris Wilson.  "We have to come together and go on the road and try to salvage this season."

With the win, Indianapolis improved to 2-5 overall and 1-5 in GLIAC action this season while the Bulldogs fell to 1-6 overall and 0-6 in conference play.

"It's frustrating when you're not winning football games," Pierce said.  "I've been proud of our guys for staying together, but we have to get our game to a higher level."

The Bulldogs open up a two-game GLIAC road swing by traveling to Wayne State next Saturday (Oct. 17) for a 12 p.m. (EDT) league tilt at WSU Stadium in Detroit, Mich.

Bulldog Bites: Santino Favot was chosen as the Bulldogs' Babb Ford Player of the Game for his defensive efforts .... FSU dropped to 32-35-2 all-time in homecoming setbacks with the loss ..... Saturday's meeting represented the first time the Bulldogs had ever played Indianapolis on Homecoming ..... The game represented the 23rd time in 29 meetings between the two teams that the final score was determined by 10 points or more.