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Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University football team unveiled its new offensive scheme and wrapped up spring drills by holding its annual "Crimson & Gold" Spring Game on Friday (April 23) evening at Top Taggart Field.
The Crimson Team, which was made up of the number one offense and number two defense, topped the White Team consisting of the top defense and second offensive units by a 26-12 count in the contest.
The game was played under normal first half conditions while a running clock was used in the second half before the game was stopped near the end of the third quarter to avoid the potential for injuries.
Players mixed into other units at various times and also were interchanged during special teams situations for the two-hour scrimmage.
"We had our ups and downs a bit today, which is what you expect at this time of the year," said FSU head coach Jeff Pierce. "It wasn't a well-oiled machine, but we made some good progress over the course of the spring and feel good about where we're headed.
"There's a learning curve with some of our younger guys and now hopefully we need to take it up another level by the time the fall rolls around," he added.
The White Team opened the scoring with 8:40 to play in the opening quarter when Crimson Team sophomore punter Mitchell Voss had the ball sail over his head and was forced to fall on it in the endzone for a safety.
However, the Crimson Team responded quickly by driving 61 yards on seven plays to find paydirt. Senior fullback Leon Curry netted the game's first touchdown with a 22-yard run off the left side followed by a Voss PAT kick.
Sophomore quarterback Robert Banaszak hooked up with tight end Kevin Guirand on a 21-yard scoring pass with 12:11 to play in the second frame to help the White Team regain the lead after a nine-play march covering 64 yards.
From that point on, however, the Crimson Team took control with four consecutive scores to put the game out of reach.
They answered quickly as junior receiver Damien Miller returned the ensuing kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown with 11:57 left in the half.
The Crimson Team added two additional points with two minutes to go in the half on the game's second safety as a Voss punt attempt was blocked out of the endzone.
After a situational re-punt, the Crimson Team tacked on three more points on a 39-yard field goal from Austin Kantola with only 30 seconds remaining in the initial half.
The final Crimson Team score came on a 77-yard touchdown run from tailback Tyler Thomas with 9:10 left in the third period. The run from scrimmage was on the first play of the drive.
Finally, the White Team posted the game's final points as junior kicker Shawn Snoor converted a 44-yard field goal with only 4:36 to play in the third period to cap a nine-play drive over 68 yards.
Several veteran players were held out of the contest and did not take part in the game. The spring game marked the end to FSU's official spring practice season, which started March 30 and included 15 workouts per NCAA regulations.
Overall, the offensive units tallied 27 points in first-year offensive coordinator Chris Boden's scheme while special teams play resulted in the other 11 points. Defensively, the Bulldogs' unit came up with a pair of pass interceptions with one each from redshirt freshman Mike Davis and former running back Arshaun Hall. Unofficially, the defense also recorded four sacks.
Ferris State kicks off its 102nd season of varsity competition this fall by venturing to HC's Frank "Muddy" Waters Stadium for a non-conference tilt in week one on Friday, Sept. 3, with kickoff set for 7 p.m. (EST). FSU and Hillsdale are not scheduled to play each other as part of the GLIAC schedule this season.
The Bulldogs, who will play an 11-game regular-season schedule, open GLIAC action the following week against Saginaw Valley State in their home opener on Saturday, Sept. 11, at Top Taggart Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. (EST).
The Bulldogs' 2010 schedule features alternating home and away games throughout the year as FSU will not play consecutive contests either at home or on the road at any point during the campaign.
Ferris State has registered five winning seasons in the last seven years along with nine winning campaigns overall in 15 years under head coach Jeff Pierce. Overall, FSU has put a winning stamp on 14 seasons over the last 21 years.
The Bulldogs will open fall camp in early August.