Ferris Wins To Remain Unbeaten In GLIAC

Ferris Wins To Remain Unbeaten In GLIAC

Photo Gallery
Postgame Video Highlights
Postgame Interview: Jeff Pierce
Postgame Interview: Skyler Stoker & Chris Wilson
Postgame Audio - Jeff Pierce (MP3)
Postgame Audio - Skyler Stoker & Chris Wilson (MP3)

Postgame Y102 Radio Recap (MP3)
Announcers: Jason DaDay & Sandy Gholston

Big Rapids, Mich. - Ferris State scored seven offensive touchdowns and rolled up 479 yards of total offense in winning its third consecutive contest to remain unbeaten in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) football play with a 52-28 victory over the Tiffin Dragons on Saturday (Sept. 25) night at FSU's Top Taggart Field.

The Bulldogs held a narrow 21-18 halftime lead before breaking the contest open with 31 points in the final half, including 24 points in the fourth quarter.

FSU's 52-point scoring output was its highest production since a 62-42 home win over Northern Michigan in 2005.  The Bulldogs improved to 3-1 overall and 3-0 in the GLIAC with the triumph.

"We won tonight and that's the most important thing," said FSU head coach Jeff Pierce.  "We're taking it one game at a time, but I was proud of the effort.

"We got off to a bit of a slow start, but once we got comfortable with some of the things they were doing, we started to make some things happen," he added.

The Dragons struck first on the opening drive of the contest as wide receiver Trey Williams caught a seven-yard scoring pass from quarterback Jason Young to cap a 76-yard drive in 15 plays.  Tiffin chewed up the initial 7:42 of the game on the drive before missing the PAT try.

The Bulldogs answered with 4:42 to play in the first quarter as sophomore back Tyler Thomas (Jackson) found paydirt from one-yard out.  FSU drove 78 yards in seven plays on its first scoring march of the evening.

FSU took its first lead with 11:36 to go in the second period as junior quarterback Tom Schneider (Jerome/Addison) hit sophomore tight end Kevin Guirand (Antioch, Ill./Lakes Community) from a yard away to finish a five-play, 24-yard jaunt.

Tiffin answered only two minutes later as Young found David Singleton from 10 yards out after a short 45-yard drive that lasted six plays.

The Dragons then regained the lead with only 1:33 left in the opening half as Young completed a 50-yard scoring pass to Brendton Williams on the third play of Tiffin's 51-yard drive.

However, the Bulldogs responded to grab the narrow halftime edge as Schneider completed a 27-yard TD strike to senior receiver Chris Wilson (Hingsville, Ga./Long County).  It took Ferris only three plays and 1:05 to regain the lead on a 74-yard drive.

Tiffin tied the game back up with 9:22 to play in the third as Mike Rutkowski connected on a field goal from 25-yards away after the Bulldogs had turned the ball over deep in their own end.

From there, though, the Bulldogs broke the game open for good.

Schneider marched the Bulldogs 81 yards in only four plays while finding Wilson on another scoring pass from 25 yards to make it a 28-21 FSU advantage at the 7:38 mark of the third period.

The score stood until early in the fourth frame when Catlin Porter's (Midland) 35-yard field goal finished off an 11-play, 62-yard drive to give Ferris a 10-point cushion.

The Bulldogs added seven more points with 11:47 to go when senior fullback Leon Curry (Detroit/Warren Fitzgerald) found the endzone from seven yards away to cap a four-play, 63-yard drive.

Tiffin narrowed the gap a bit with 9:34 left on Young's two-yard scoring toss to Bryce Wilder, which completed a six-play drive covering 56 yards.

Ferris sealed the victory as junior back Aaron Olman (Grandville) hauled in a eight-yard TD reception from Schneider with only 8:03 left in the game.  The Bulldogs needed only three plays and 20 yards to make it a 45-28 advantage.

The final Bulldog touchdown came with 2:44 left as senior back Elijah Johnson (Miami, Fla./Booker T. Washington) scored from two yards out on a 45-yard drive that took five plays.

The Bulldogs tallied 337 rushing yards on 42 attempts and Schneider completed 13-of-16 passes for 142 yards and four scores.  He also added 76 rushing yards on seven carries in directing the FSU offensive attack.

"Our offense continues to get a little better each week," said Pierce.  "We're starting to understand the details and it is a very detail-oriented offense.  I'm proud of the way the guys are adapting to the system."

Sophomore Skyler Stoker (Jackson/Grass Lake) paced the Bulldogs' ground game by running for 106 yards on 12 carries.  Curry added 53 yards on five attempts with Thomas contributing 46 yards on five carries.

Wilson led the FSU receivers by making four grabs for 64 yards and two TD's.  Olman caught three balls for 32 yards and junior receiver Mike Ryan (Howell) netted two catches for 32 yards.

Defensively, the Bulldogs allowed 302 yards of total offense by the Dragons.  Young threw for 228 yards on 21-of-41 passing while David McKnight ran for a team-high 46 yards on 12 carries.  Williams recorded eight catches for 69 yards.

Tiffin turned the ball over only once on an interception while the Bulldogs lost one fumble. 

Senior linebacker Matt Ryan (Howell) led the FSU defense with a game-high 12 tackles, including a tackle for loss.  Sophomore linebacker Tayo Moss (South Rockwood/Monroe St. Mary's Catholic) contribued nine stops while sophomore linebacker Mike Elias (Ann Arbor/Huron) made six tackles.  Senior defensive tackle Jacob Moreno (Holt) finished with three TFL and two quarterback sacks as the Bulldogs sacked Young five times and totaled 10 stops for loss.

Linebacker Kody David, a local Mecosta County product from Chippewa Hills, led the Dragons with 11 tackles in the game, including 10 solo efforts.

The Bulldogs remain tied with Grand Valley State, Northern Michigan and Michigan Tech atop the GLIAC standings after three weeks of conference play with all three teams unbeaten at 3-0 in the league.

FSU's current three-game winning streak is its longest since winning the opening three contests of the 2008 campaign.

Ferris State will try to win its fourth consecutive tilt as the Bulldogs travel to face conference newcomer Lake Erie for the first-time ever next Saturday, Oct. 2, in Painesville, Ohio.  Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. (EDT).

Bulldog Bites:  A crowd of 2,657 fans were on hand for the "Kids Night" contest with a number of special activites for youth ..... The Bulldogs improved to 3-0 all-time versus Tiffin with the win in the first-ever conference clash between the two schools ...... It marked the second year in a row the Bulldogs have topped the Dragons in Big Rapids ....... Ferris was a perfect six-of-six in the red zone ..... The 52 total points represented only the second time in the last five years the Bulldogs have tallied 45 points or more in a game ....... Schneider was tabbed as the Bulldogs' Babb Ford Player of the Game for his efforts.