September 29, 2011

Football Game Notes: Lake Erie (Oct. 1)

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* This Week:
The Ferris State University football team is back at home to host the Lake Erie Storm in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) play on Saturday, Oct. 1, at FSU's Top Taggart Field.  Kickoff for the final evening home contest of the year is slated for 7 p.m. (ET).

* Ticket Information: Single-game and season tickets for all FSU home contests are now on sale and can be purchased by calling the FSU Athletics Ticket Office at (231) 591-2888. Adult single-game general admission tickets can also be bought via Star Tickets and are only $7 while seniors (ages 65-plus), FSU Faculty/Staff and students in grades K-12 are just $5.  Ferris State students are admitted free with a valid student ID card.  Visit www.FerrisStateBulldogs.com for more ticket information.

* Media Coverage: Saturday's game will be carried live locally by the Bulldog Sports Network and Sunny 97.3 FM with Rob Bentley handling the play-by-play duties and Sandy Gholston offering color commentary.  The broadcast begins with the "Meijer Bulldog Football Pregame Show" starting at 6:30 p.m. (ET).  It will also be webcast online.  Links for all available media can be found by clicking on the "upcoming events" scoreboard tab on FSU's Athletics Website at www.FerrisStateBulldogs.com.

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

* Break A Record, Save A Life: A world record attempt will take place before Saturday's game as FSU is part of an effort to loft 2,500 pink discs thru the air at one time as part of the Paint Big Rapids Pink initiative in support of breast health awareness month.  Fans are encouraged to arrive early with the toss slated to take place on the track surface shortly after 6:30 p.m. The current disc-tossing world record of 1,903 is held by South Carolina's Hilton Head Inn. The effort is sponsored by the Plastics Engineering Department, the FSU Athletics Department and the Paint Big Rapids Pink Committee. Donations will go to the Susan P. Wheatlake Women's Cancer and Wellness Fund.

* Pierce Approaching 100 Wins: Ferris State University head coach Jeff Pierce needs only a single win to notch his 100th career coaching victory.  Pierce will enter Saturday's contest with an all-time mark of 99-81 (.550), which includes a 52-34 (.605) record in home contests at FSU's Top Taggart Field.  His 99 wins to date make him the all-time winningest coach in Bulldog football history.

* The Records: Ferris State is currently 3-1 overall and 2-1 in the GLIAC after a decisive 48-13 win at Tiffin last Saturday (Sept. 24). FSU posted a 5-6 overall mark in 2010 and was 5-5 in GLIAC play.  The Bulldogs won five of their initial six games of the campaign and saw a four-game improvement over the 2009 season.
   
Lake Erie is 1-3 overall and 0-3 in league play after a 35-26 home setback to Hillsdale on Saturday (Sept. 24).  The Storm posted a 7-4 overall record as a Division II independent in 2009 before going 3-8 overall and 3-7 in the GLIAC in their first season a year ago (2010).

* The Coaches: Ferris State  – Jeff Pierce (Ferris State, 1979), 17th season, 99-81-0 (.550) – (1-0-0 vs. LEC).  Pierce is 52-34 (.605) overall in home contests at FSU and he owns a 34-34-0 (.500) 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.
   
Lake Erie – Mark McNellie (Baldwin-Wallace, 1988), 6th season, 21-25-0 (.457) - (0-1-0 vs. Ferris State).  McNellie became the program's first head coach prior to the 2007 season in which LEC posted a 7-2 mark as a club team.  They began varsity action in '08.  Previously, he spent 17 years as an assistant at Mercyhurst along with two at Fairmont State (W.Va.). He played collegiately at Baldwin-Wallace.

* Hall Of Fame Game: Saturday's game represents FSU's Hall of Fame Game and this year's inductees will be honored in a special halftime ceremony. A former Bulldog football player is included among this year's class of inductees in standout receiver Clarence Coleman. The induction banquet is Friday (Sept. 30) evening at the Holiday Inn Hotel and Conference Center.

* The Inductees: This year's Hall of Fame honorees are: Anne Bentley of Wyoming, softball and women's tennis (1997-00); Gerald Busby of Lansing, men's basketball (1980-83); Clarence Coleman of Miami, Fla., football (1998-01); Dr. Robert Ewigleben of Albion and Elizabethtown, Ky., president emeritus (1971-84); Martin Krbec of Fort Collins, Colo., men's tennis (1997-01); and Wendy McCann of East Lansing, women's volleyball (1984-87).  The Bulldog Athletics Hall of Fame Selection Committee also selected longtime supporter and track official Bruce Jacobs as a recipient of an Athletics Special Service Award.

* Coming Up Next: The Bulldogs hit the road once more to face the Findlay Oilers on Saturday, Oct. 8, at Community Stadium in Findlay, Ohio.  Kickoff is at 12 p.m. (ET).

* Sunny 97.3: This season marks the debut of a new broadcast partnership between FSU Athletics and Sunny 97.3 FM.  Rob Bentley and Sandy Gholston will call the action starting with the "Meijer Bulldog Football Pregame Show" show at 6:30 p.m.  Sunny 97.3 and the Bulldog Sports Network will carry all home and away football contests with the broadcasts streamed live online at www.FerrisStateBulldogs.com.
   
* Bulldog Sports Network: Fans can follow all the action of Ferris State football live online via a new Bulldog Sports Network multimedia portal which launched this season.  A live audio and video pay-per-view webcast will be offered for all home games with free audio for all road contests.  The package also includes live stats, live chat and a live blog. Visit www.FerrisStateBulldogs.com for more info.
 
* School Record Holder: FSU junior defensive end Jordan Morgan (Chicago, Ill./Mt. Carmel) blocked the sixth kick of his Bulldog career on Saturday at Tiffin and is now the school's all-time career leader in blocks.  He entered the contest tied with former standout defensive tackle Jake Visser.  Morgan had a single-season record tying four blocks a year ago.
 
* GLIAC Player Of The Week: A big momentum-changing play landed Ferris State junior defensive end Cody Groulx (Montrose/Hill McCloy) with this week's GLIAC Special Teams Player of the Week honor. The 6-1, 227-pound Groulx provided perhaps the biggest play of the day in the Bulldogs' decisive 48-13 league win over Tiffin last Saturday.  With the Bulldogs trailing 7-3 late in the first quarter, Groulx blocked a Dragon punt and recovered it in the endzone for his first career touchdown. Groulx's score turned the tide of the contest as FSU scored the next 45 points to take a 48-7 advantage in the fourth quarter prior to a late Tiffin score.  It was the first of two blocked kicks for the Bulldogs.  The converted safety also added three tackles in the contest.  His selection marks the second consecutive week at Bulldog player has claimed the same award as freshman kicker Victor Bodrie (Northville) was last week's recipient following a win over Ohio Dominican.
 
* Second Meeting: Ferris State and Lake Erie will meet for the second-time ever on Saturday.  The Bulldogs pulled out a 22-12 win a year ago in the first game at Painesville, Ohio.  The Storm will be making their first-ever trip to Big Rapids.  They posted a 7-4 overall record as a Division II independent in 2009 before joining the GLIAC.  Lake Erie is coming off a 35-26 home setback to nationally-ranked Hillsdale this past Saturday (Sept. 24) and is guided by sixth-year head coach Mark McNellie.

* Welcome Back:
The Bulldogs return 19 starters and more than 40 letterwinners from last season.  Eight of the starters back are on the offensive side of the ball with nine on defense and both specialists.

* Against Ohio Schools: Ferris holds a 35-43 (.449) all-time record against teams from the state of Ohio in school history. The Bulldogs have played 12 schools from the Buckeye state and have fared the best against those teams now competing in the GLIAC.  FSU holds a 11-10 mark versus Findlay and is 9-13 overall against Ashland.  The Bulldogs also own four wins (4-6) over Ohio Northern and Tiffin (4-0) while posting multiple wins versus Cedarville (2-0) and Ohio Dominican (2-0). FSU has topped Wilmington, Lake Erie and Defiance once each in the program's history.  Ferris' worst mark is against Central State, which owns a 7-0 record against the Bulldogs although the two teams have not met '86.

* The Ohio Stretch: Saturday's game against Lake Erie is the third of four in a row for the Bulldogs versus Ohio schools.  FSU swept the same four teams (ODU, Tiffin, Lake Erie & Findlay) in 2010 and has defeated both Ohio Dominican and Tiffin the last two weeks to open the stretch.

* First Touchdown: Bulldog sophomore tight end Jace Heneveld (Zeeland/East) notched the first touchdown of his collegiate career by catching a four-yard scoring toss from quarterback Tom Schneider (Jerome/Addison) in the third quarter of FSU's loss at Saginaw Valley State (Sept. 10).  Heneveld added another touchdown catch in a win over Ohio Dominican (Sept. 17).

* Good First Catch: Redshirt freshman running back Jamaal Jackson (St. Joseph) scored the first touchdown of his Bulldog career by catching an 18-yard scoring pass from Tom Schneider in the win over Tiffin.  He added a five-yard TD run in the third quarter and finished the contest with 68 yards on eight carries (8.5 average).  The touchdown reception came on the first catch of his collegiate career.

* Close Once Again: Junior running back Skyler Stoker (Jackson/Grass Lake) just missed posting his third 100-plus rushing yard performance of the season as he ran for 98 yards against Tiffin on 12 carries (8.2 average).  Stoker had 162 yards in the opener against Hillsdale and also ran for 102 yards versus Ohio Dominican.

* Good In Game Five: Saturday's contest versus Lake Erie will mark FSU's fifth game of the 2011 season.  The Bulldogs have posted a 16-3-1 overall record in game five of a campaign dating back to 1990.  One of the setbacks came two years ago when the Bulldogs suffered a 34-0 setback at Northern Michigan (Sept. 26) in Marquette's Superior Dome. Ferris State has had more success in game five than any other week going back to 1990.

* Hall of Fame Game:
  The Bulldogs are 5-5-0 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 had won four of its last five Hall of Fame outings prior to a disappointing 59-14 setback to Hillsdale two years ago (10/31/09) . FSU is averaging 25.3 points per game (253 total pts.) while the opposition has averaged 31.3 points an outing (313 total pts.) in the past 10 Hall of Fame games.  The Bulldogs did not induct a hall of fame class in 2010 and therefore did not play the contest.

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

* Welcome To October: The Bulldogs have compiled a 53-35-1 (.601) record in October contests since 1990. FSU is 27-21-0 (.563) on the road and 25-15-1 (.622) at home during that span in the month of October.

* One Kick Away: Freshman kicker Victor Bodrie came up only one field goal away from tying the school record of seven consecutive made field goals.  Bodrie connected on his first five career attempts against Ohio Dominican and then made his first against Tiffin before missing a 47-yarder as time expired in the first half.

* Climbing The Chart: FSU quarterback Tom Schneider currently has 3,536 career yards and moved into seventh place on the school's all-time list against Tiffin.  He's also climbed into seventh place in total offense with 4,652 yards in his career.

* Passing Up The List: Senior quarterback Tom Schneider's 1,741 passing yards last season represented the 18th-best single season performance in school history.  He came up only 259 yards shy of being only the 13th player in Bulldog history to throw for 2,000 yards or more in a single campaign.

* Putting Up The Points: This year marked the second consecutive season in which the Bulldogs have scored at least 48 points against Tiffin.  FSU's 52-point scoring output versus Tiffin a year ago in Big Rapids was its highest production since a 62-42 home win over Northern Michigan in 2005. This past Saturday marked only the third time in the last five years the Bulldogs have scored 45 points or more in a game.

* Did You Know?: Ferris has had a winning season in 14 of its last 22 seasons and in nine of head coach Jeff Pierce's 16 years at FSU.  The Bulldogs won five consecutive conference championship titles from 1992-96 and were league co-champions with Northwood in the 1999 season.

* GLIAC Preseason Poll: The Ferris State University football team was selected to finish sixth in the 2011 GLIAC Football Coaches Preseason North Division Poll, which was released in mid-August in conjunction with the launch of the GLIAC Football Media Day website. The Bulldogs received 37 points in the balloting, which was conducted by the conference's 14 head coaches. This year marks the first time the league's preseason gridiron poll has been seperated by divisions.  Grand Valley State and Wayne State were picked as the North and South Division favorites, respectively.

* 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 2011 Ferris State University Football Yearbook is available to view as an online publication. The publication features such information as 2011 player rosters, season outlook, player biographies, coaching staff information, 2010 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.

* Red Zone Offense: The Bulldogs ranked near the GLIAC leaders in red zone offense most of last year and converted 31-of-40 (.775) times inside the opponents' 20-yard line.  The total included 26 touchdowns and five field goals.  FSU was perfect inside the red zone over a three-game stretch with a combined 12-of-12 total versus Ohio Dominican, Tiffin and Lake Erie (Sept. 18-Oct. 2) a season ago.  This year, Ferris is currently 21-of-26 (.808) inside the 20 this year, including 8-of-8 against ODU two weeks ago.

* The 103rd Season: The 2011 campaign represents the Bulldogs' 103rd 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.  Ferris has posted an all-time record of 375-425-40 (.470) to date.

* Team Captains: FSU's team captains for the 2011 campaign are senior quarterback Tom Schneider and senior guard Jake Hancock (Big Rapids) on the offensive side of the ball along with senior defensive tackle Muneer Bawayeh (Dearborn/Fordson) and junior defensive end Jordan Morgan defensively.

* All-GLIAC Returners: Ferris State returns five players who received GLIAC postseason accolades in 2010.  The list includes senior lineman Jake Hancock, who earned second team offensive honors.  Junior defensive end Jordan Morgan was an All-GLIAC Second Team honoree as well a year ago.  Meanwhile, senior QB Tom Schneider, junior defensive back William Miles (Stockton, Calif./Tokay), junior defensive end Brad Iskow (Bad Axe) and senior receiver Mike Ryan (Howell) were all honorable mention picks a season ago for the Bulldogs.

* Week One Win: Ferris State rallied from a 10-point third quarter deficit to beat preseason nationally 18th-ranked Hillsdale by a 20-17 count in the season opener on Friday, Sept. 2, before a "Community Day" crowd of 3,453 fans at FSU's Top Taggart Field.  The Bulldogs took advantage of two Charger turnovers in the second half en route to the win.

* Week Two Setback: The Bulldogs suffered a heartbreaking 30-27 loss in their GLIAC opener at Saginaw Valley State in week two (Sept. 10) at Wickes Memorial Stadium in the "Red Feather" Classic.  FSU took a 27-24 lead in the fourth quarter before SVSU drove 55 yards in 10 plays to score with only 4:25 left in the game to earn the victory.  It was the first night game played in SVSU history before 8,173 fans.

* Pick Two: FSU junior defensive back Jaime Berrera (Fremont, Calif./Washington) had an interception in both of the Bulldogs' first two games of the 2011 campaign. He's in his first season on the field at Ferris after missing all of last year due to injury following a JUCO stint.

* Big Catch Mike: Bulldog senior receiver Mike Ryan (Howell) tallied his 100th career catch in FSU's setback at Saginaw Valley State (Sept. 10), becoming only the 11th player in school history to reach the mark.  He currently ranks 10th all-time in school history with 1,379 career receiving yards.

* Kicking Leaders: FSU senior kicker Shawn Snoor (Diamondale/Holt) currently ranks tied for 12th in school history with seven made field goals. He's also listed 11th overall with 2,262 career punting yards.

* Preseason All-Americans: A trio of Ferris State players received preseason acclaim as three Bulldogs were chosen to the 2011 Consensus Draft Services (CDS) Preseason All-America Teams. Senior center Jake Hancock was tabbed as a 2011 CDS Preseason First Team All-American with junior defensive end Jordan Morgan and senior cornerback William Miles, who was injured this spring, claiming honorable mention status on the preseason All-America team. CDS picked both a first and second team offensive and defensive unit with various honorable mention recipients at each position. The 6-2 Hancock was one of four players from a GLIAC school honored as a first team preseason All-America pick.

* Good Works Team Nominee: Ferris State senior quarterback Tom Schenider is among the nominees for the 2011 American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Good Works Team, which is sponsored by Allstate Insurance Company. The award recognizes the selfless contributions to volunteerism and community service made by college football student-athletes across the nation. This year marks the program's 20th year honoring college football players at all levels of competition who stand out for their "good works" in the community.  Since 1992, selection to the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team has become the gold standard for off-the-field character and leadership for college football players. The honor is widely considered the sport's pre-eminent community service award.

* GLIAC Contenders: The Bulldogs were listed as one of the possible contenders in the GLIAC race in the 2011 Sporting News College Football Preview Issue, which hit various news stands nationwide this summer. The annual publication compiled a preseason list of the nation's top 25 teams, which included three from the GLIAC in second-ranked Grand Valley State, number nine Wayne State and Hillsdale, which was listed 19th in the preseason poll. Additionally, the magazine offered a brief conference outlook of each Division II league and included the Bulldogs among the possible contenders in the GLIAC along with Michigan Tech and Ashland. The article, which was written by Greg Dewalt of the Florence (Ala.) TimesDaily, noted "With 19 returning starters, including fourth-year starting QB Tom Schneider, Ferris State could be ready to challenge for the conference title."

* Preseason All-GLIAC: A total of six Ferris State players received preseason All-GLIAC acclaim this year on the JBS D2 Preseason All-Conference listing.  The list was compiled by the Josh Buchanan scouting service (www.jbscounting.com). Senior lineman Jake Hancock was tabbed to the offensive first team with junior defensive end Jordan Morgan pegged as a first-team pick on the defensive side.  Four others were named as Players To Watch, including senior quarterback Tom Schneider, senior receiver Mike Ryan, junior defensive end Brad Iskow and junior cornerback Antwian Windmon (Chicago/Morgan Park).

* Near Top Of GLIAC Charts: Ferris State currently leads the GLIAC in first downs (25.0 pg.) and is tied for first in total offense (468.0 pg.) along with second in turnover margin (+1.75) and rushing offense (237.2 ypg.) and kickoff coverage.  The Bulldogs are third in both scoring offense (32.5 ppg.) and scoring defense (18.2 ppg.). Junior linebacker Tayo Moss is the GLIAC's leading tackler (10.8 tpg.) to date while senior Will Frazier is second in punt return average (11.0 pr.).  Senior QB Tom Schneider ranks third in passing (220.0 ypg.) and second in total offense (268.0 ypg.) with junior tailback Skyler Stoker listed fourth in rushing (107.2 ypg.) and second in all-purpose yards (181.8 ypg.).  Jordan Morgan is tied for fourth in sacks (0.75 pg.) and Jaime Berrera is second in interceptions (0.67 pg.) for the Bulldogs.

* Preseason All-Americans: Ferris State senior lineman Jake Hancock earned his second first team preseason honor of the year as he was named to the he 2011 Collegiate Development Football League (CDFL) Preseason All-American Football Team. The selections were made by the CDFL and the D2 vs. NAIA Senior Bowl selection committee. The D2 vs. NAIA Senior Bowl is a postseason game showcasing the talent of senior players from the NCAA Division II and the NAIA levels. It will be played Dec. 3, 2011, in the New York City metro area. Nine GLIAC student-athletes were named to the 2011 CDFL Preseason All-American Football Team, which is a preseason listing of the top potential players who could be asked to play in the D2 vs. NAIA Senior Bowl later this fall.

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