October 29, 2009

Football Game Notes: Hillsdale (Oct. 31)

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* This Week: The Ferris State University football team will host the nationally-ranked Hillsdale Chargers in their regular-season home finale this Saturday, Oct. 31, at FSU's Top Taggart Field in Big Rapids, Mich. The Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) game will kick off at 2 p.m. (EDT). Several activities are planned in conjunction with the Halloween day contest and the game also represents the 10th annual Bulldog Athletics Hall of Fame Game.

* Ticket Information:
Tickets for the game will be available on gameday at the stadium or for more info, please contact the FSU Ticket Office at (231) 591-2888. FSU tickets can also be purchased online at www.startickets.com. General admission tickets are $7 adults or $5 students (K-12), senior citizens and FSU faculty/staff. Ferris students with ID will be admitted free as will children not yet of school age.

* Media Coverage:
Saturday’s game will be carried live locally by WYBR (102.3 FM) with Jason DaDay handling the play-by-play duties for the game and Sandy Gholston offering color commentary. A live video and audio webcast will be available through B2 Networks for a charge of $7 on FSU's Athletics Website at www.ferrisstatebulldogs.com (Click on B2 Networks icon). Live internet statistics will also be available.

* Follow On Twitter:
In addition to radio and internet coverage, Bulldog fans can also follow Saturday’s contest and all other FSU games this year with live scoring via Twitter. Please visit www.twitter.com/ferrisathletics to follow the tweet-by-tweet coverage with periodic scoring updates.

* Last Time Out:
A strong third quarter showing by the Northwood Timberwolves broke Saturday's (Oct. 24) GLIAC game open as NU snapped a halftime tie to pull out a 33-7 victory over Ferris State at Hantz Stadium in Midland, Mich. The Bulldogs put together one of their best first-half outings of the season as the score was tied 7-7 at halftime. However, NU tallied 26 unanswered points in the final half while improving to 5-3 overall and in league play. FSU suffered its eighth-straight loss despite holding NU's potent rushing attack to 173 yards on 42 carries. Ferris had two punts blocked in the game and turned the ball over three times. FSU totaled 193 offensive yards while NU netted 281 offensive yards. Freshman Skyler Stoker (Jackson/Grass Lake) scored the Bulldogs’ lone points on a three-yard TD run late in the second quarter.

* Coming Up Next:
The Bulldogs will conclude the 2009 campaign by visiting nationally-ranked Saginaw Valley State on Saturday, Nov. 7, for a 12 p.m. (EDT) league kickoff at SVSU’s Harvey Randall Wickes Memorial Stadium in University Center, Mich.

* The Records:
Ferris State (1-8, 0-8 GLIAC) is currently midst a eight-game losing streak. FSU owns a current 1-3 home mark this season. Ferris registered a 6-5-0 overall record in 2008 and placed seventh in the GLIAC with a 5-5 mark.  Hillsdale is presently 7-2 overall and 6-2 in the GLIAC this season after an impressive 45-14 home win over Wayne State last Saturday (Oct. 24). The Chargers are 3-2 on the road this campaign. HC recorded a 7-4 overall and 6-4 league mark in 2008 while placing fourth in the GLIAC.

* The Coaches: Ferris State – Jeff Pierce (Ferris State, 1979), 15th season, 91-72-0 (.558) – (9-5-0 vs. HC). Pierce is 47-31 (.603) overall in home contests at FSU and he owns a 32-30-0 (.516) record in October contests to date. Pierce, who played at Ferris (defensive back) from 1974-77, is the 12th head coach in Ferris State’s history.  Hillsdale – Keith Otterbein (Hillsdale, 1979), 8th season, 45-41-0 (.523); Career: 16th season, 105-80-3 (.566) – (3-4-0 vs. Ferris State). Otterbein served as head coach at Ferris State for nine seasons (1986-94) and then spent seven years (1995-01) as the recruiting coordinator and running backs coach at NCAA Division I Ball State.

* Senior Day Contest: Sixteen Ferris State seniors will be making their final career appearance at Top Taggart Field versus Hillsdale – Brad Bammert, Nick Butler, Leon Curry, Kory Deering, Joe Doman, Santino Favot, Ron Hardy, Marvin Hicks, David Johnson, C.J. Lee, Joe Morrow, Joe Parrinello, Kyle Parrish, Chad Schoen, Kevin Ward and Angelo Williams. FSU will recognize the 16 seniors along with two student assistant coaches and former players in Travis “Snoop” Eising and Dan Underhill prior to the contest.

* Hall Of Fame Game: Saturday’s game represents FSU’s 10th annual Hall of Fame Game and this year’s inductees will be honored in a special halftime ceremony. Two former Bulldog football players are part of this year’s class in Monty Brown and Bill Scheible. The induction banquet is Friday (Oct. 30) evening starting at 7 p.m. (EDT) at FSU’s Wink Arena.

* The Inductees:
This year's Hall of Fame honorees are: Deb Bolinger of Marietta, Ga., softball (1978-82); Monty Brown of Saginaw, football (1989-92); Dean Davenport of Big Rapids, athletics administrator & coach (1970-93); Tim Herman of Flint, men's basketball (1976-79); Andy Roach of Mattawan, hockey (1993-97); Karen (Kramer) Trierweiler of Grand Ledge, women's basketball (1983-87); and Bill Scheible of Big Rapids, who played football (1974-76) and also served the athletics department in a variety of capacities.

* Halloween Game Promotions: Several promotions are planned as part of Saturday’s Halloween contest, which coincides with the Big Rapids area’s second annual Fall Festival. A parade will take place in downtown Big Rapids starting at 10 a.m. (EDT) and 200 free tickets will be given to children participating in the downtown parade courtesy of FSU Athletics as part of “Kids Day”. Additional tickets will also be given to local children compliments of the Schuberg Insurance Agency and Biggby Coffee. Children dressed in costumes will be introduced during halftime activities on the field. Games and inflatables will be available for kids at the stadium and a number of other activities for children will take place in downtown Big Rapids following the parade and prior to kickoff. The finals of the bean bag toss tournament will take place during halftime on the 50-yard line and in-game promotions will include such things as the Birkam Football giveaway and Synder's Certificates.

* Key Game Facts: Saturday’s game against Hillsdale will be only the Bulldogs’ second home tilt versus the Chargers in the last five seasons. Hillsdale has claimed three of the last four series’ matchups with all three wins coming on its home field. The Bulldogs’ lone win in the stretch was a thrilling 44-41 triumph at Top Taggart Field in 2007 (9/22). FSU has won three meetings in a row at home and six of the last seven in Big Rapids.

* We Meet Again: Hillsdale head coach Keith Otterbein previously served as FSU’s head coach from 1986-94. He led the Bulldogs to a 60-39-3 (.603) ledger in his nine years at the Bulldog helm. FSU made trips to the NCAA-II playoffs in each of his final three seasons. His best season at the FSU helm came in 1994 as he guided the Bulldogs to an 11-1 overall mark and the school's third consecutive Midwest Intercollegiate Football Conference Championship his final campaign. Otterbein was one of six inductees into Ferris’ Bulldog Athletics Hall of Fame in 2008. Hillsdale Offensive Coordinator Barry Fagan was also a part of Otterbein’s Bulldog staff and directed the Bulldogs’ talented offensive units.

* Hall Of Fame Game: The Bulldogs are 5-4-0 in their annual Hall of Fame Game, which dates back to the 2000 season (9/23) with a 51-30 victory over Wayne State. Ferris has won four of its last five Hall of Fame outings to date, including a 31-24 triumph over Northern Michigan in 2008 (9/27). FSU is averaging 26.5 points per game (239 total pts.) while the opposition has averaged 28.2 points an outing (254 total pts.) in the past nine Hall of Fame games.

* Hall Of Fame Opponents: This year marks the first time the Bulldogs have squared off against Hillsdale in the 10-year history of the school’s Hall of Fame Game. Ferris defeated Northern Michigan in each of the last two Hall of Fame outings in 2007 and 2008 and is 2-1 in the event against the Wildcats. FSU has also played Wayne State (1-1), Grand Valley State (0-2), Mercyhurst (1-0) and Findlay (1-0) in Hall of Fame action.

* Home Finales: Ferris State has compiled a 16-8-0 (.667) record in its final home regular-season appearance per campaign since 1985. The Bulldogs sport a 12-7-0 (.632) mark since 1990 and have won four of their last eight such outings to date. FSU suffered a 26-14 setback to Saginaw Valley State in its final home game of the 2008 campaign (11/8).

* Good Month: The Bulldogs have compiled a 51-31-1 (.620) record in October contests since 1990. FSU is 26-19-0 (.578) on the road and 24-13-1 (.645) at home during that span in the month of October.

* Number Ten: Saturday’s game against Hillsdale represents FSU’s 10th game of the season. The Bulldogs have registered a 12-7 (.632) mark in the 10th game of the year dating back to 1990.

* First TD: Freshman Skyler Stoker notched the first touchdown of his career from three yards away in last week’s game at Northwood. Stoker, who had been a slot player this year, played tailback for the first time in his Bulldog career following a standout prep career as a running back.

* Bulldog Milestones: FSU senior linebacker Nick Butler (Midland) enters Saturday’s game needing 10 tackles to notch his 100th career stop in a Bulldog uniform ...... Senior linebacker Matt Ryan (Howell) tallied his 100th career tackle at Northwood last week ....... Senior quarterback Kyle Parrish (Garden Grove, Calif./Santiago) topped the 2,000 career passing yards mark in Saturday’s loss at Northwood, marking the 27th-straight year the Bulldogs have had a 1,000-yard passer going back to 1982.

* Last Meeting In Big Rapids: In the last meeting between FSU and Hillsdale held in Big Rapids (9/22/07), a late field goal by Ferris’ Jim Yates split the uprights from 41 yards away with three seconds left to play as the Bulldogs upset the then previously unbeaten Chargers 44-41 at Top Taggart Field. The win came before a Community Health Night crowd of 2,770 fans and snapped a two-game Bulldog losing streak. The victory was also FSU's first over the Chargers since the 2004 campaign. HC narrowly held a 35-34 edge at halftime following a high-scoring first half. The scoring output then came to a halt as neither team cracked the scoring column again until the final five minutes of the contest.

* Freshman Among Leaders: FSU freshman punter Mitchell Voss (Valparaiso, Ind./Wheeler) currently ranks first in the GLIAC in punting average (39.3 avg.) and now ranks 29th nationally this campaign.

* Stellar Pass Defense: Ferris ranks first among the GLIAC leaders and fifth nationally in pass defense this season (136.11 ypg.) with two weeks left in the regular-season.

* League Stat Notebook: Bulldog linebacker Matt Ryan currently ranks fifth among the GLIAC leaders in tackles (10.4 tpg.) while fellow senior linebacker Nick Butler is tied for ninth (7.8 tpg.). Ryan is tied for 19th in the nation in tackles ...... Senior cornerback Angelo Williams (Jackson) comes in tied for 10th among the league leaders in passes defended (0.75 breakups per game) ...... Sophomore Shawn Snoor (Diamondale/Holt) is listed tied for sixth in field goals (6-8) ....... Senior Kyle Parrish ranks ninth in passing (131.2 ypg.) and 10th in total offense (132.2 ypg.).

* In The Red Zone: To date this year, the Bulldogs have converted 15-of-21 times (.714) inside the opponents’ 20-yard line. FSU has scored 10 touchdowns and made five field goals in its scoring trips to the red zone.

* The 101st Season: The 2009 campaign represents the Bulldogs’ 101st season of varsity competition. The program actually began in 1900, but no football was played in 1908-09, 1917-18, 1932 and from 1942-45 for various reasons. Additionally, no scores are available from either the 1912 or 1916 seasons. FSU has an all-time record of 367-416-40 (.470).

* Keep An Eye On: Bulldog senior cornerback Angelo Williams was among 13 GLIAC players listed as “Others To Watch” in the 2009 D2 Football Preview Magazine published by d2football.com. The first-year magazine included 11 players each named to both the first-team preseason all-conference offensive and defensive teams in addition to three specialists and those listed in the others to watch category.

* Season For Firsts: The Bulldogs had 23 players make their first game appearance in a FSU uniform during the season-opener against Tiffin (Aug. 29). The total included five true freshmen ....... Nine different players started their first games in a Bulldog uniform against Tiffin in week one. The total included five on the defensive side of the ball and four on offense ...... FSU’s initial road trip this season to Findlay (Sept. 12) featured 28 players making their first-ever appearance on the team’s travel roster.

* Good Streak: The Bulldogs have presently emerged victorious in eight of their last 10 games determined by a touchdown or less dating back to a thrilling 44-41 league home win (9/22/07) over Hillsdale. FSU had won seven-straight such contests prior to its home loss this year to Grand Valley State (Sept. 19).

* Team Captains: FSU’s team captains for the 2009 campaign are senior right tackle Brad Bammert (Flushing) and senior quarterback Kyle Parrish on the offensive side along with senior middle linebacker Nick Butler and senior safety Chad Wilson (Howell) on the defensive side.

* Parrish Climbing: FSU senior quarterback Kyle Parrish currently is listed in 14th place on the school’s all-time passing chart. Parrish currently has thrown for 2,092 yards in his two-year career. He’s twice thrown for more than 300 yards in a game.

* Football Banquet: FSU will hold its annual awards banquet on Sunday, Nov. 8, at the Holiday Inn Hotel and Conference Center in Big Rapids, Mich. Festivities will begin at 12:30 p.m. (EST) with lunch to be served at 1 p.m. (EST) and the awards program set to start at 2 p.m. All Bulldog fans and parents are invited and encouraged to attend the annual event. The cost is $20 per person and payment will be accepted at the door on the day of the banquet. Please RSVP by e-mail to Assistant Coach Allen Curtiss (curtisa3@ferris.edu) or call (231) 591-2860 for more info.

* Bulldog Gameday:
Complete information on every Bulldog home and road contest this year can be found by visiting the Bulldog Gameday page on the FSU Athletics Website at www.ferrisstatebulldogs.com (click on football and then Bulldog Gameday).  The Gameday information, which will be updated several days prior to each game, includes links to all pertinent notes and statistics for both teams as well as links for the respective broadcast and internet media coverage available for the contest.

* Yearbook Available Online:
The 2009 Ferris State University Football Yearbook is available to view online in a PDF format. The 68-page publication features such information as 2009 player rosters, season outlook, player biographies, coaching staff information, 2008 season statistics, career and season statistical records, series records, game records, etc.  Visit the FSU athletics website at www.ferrisstatebulldogs.com to find the publication online.

* Follow The Bulldogs:
Bulldog fans now have the ability to catch Ferris State in action even when they can't be at the stadium.  A live video and audio webcast is slated to be offered for all 2009 Bulldog home football games via an agreement with B2 Networks.  In addition, selected road games at B2 partner schools will also be available.  For more information, visit the FSU Athletics Website (www.ferrisstatebulldogs.com) and click on the B2 broadcast icon.

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