Big Rapids, Mich. - A strong first half fueled the University of Findlay to a 43-35 victory over the Ferris State Bulldogs in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) action on Saturday (Oct. 8) afternoon at Donnell Stadium in Findlay, Ohio.
The Oilers bolted out to a 22-0 halftime advantage and held off a valiant Bulldog comeback in the fourth quarter to end Ferris' three-game winning streak.
Findlay led 36-14 with 13:32 to go in the game before FSU trimmed the margin to a single score with only 30 seconds left on a one-yard scoring run from senior quarterback Tom Schneider (Jerome/Addison). However, a final onside kick attempt by the Bulldogs was recovered by Findlay as the Oilers preserved the victory.
The Oilers struck first with 3:05 to play in the opening stanza as Monterae Williams hauled in a 43-yard scoring pass to finish off a 56-yard drive in four plays. A two-point conversion made it an 8-0 score after the opening frame.
Williams added his second of four touchdowns in the contest by sprinting to paydirt from 56-yards away to make it a 15-0 game following a 84-yard march early in the second period. The Oilers added a late first half score as Nathan Morris caught a eight-yard TD toss from quarterback D.J. Marrah with three seconds left until the break.
Ferris finally cracked the scoring column in the third period as the Bulldogs drove 59 yards in seven plays before Schneider hooked up with tight end Kevin Guirand in the endzone from 10 yards out to cut the lead to 22-7 with 11:51 left in the third.
However, the Oilers answered right back as they moved 70 yards in 13 plays with Williams finishing the drive from two-yards out to jump the score to 29-7 with 5:27 remaining in the third period.
Soon after, Guirand added his second TD on a 18-yard scoring reception from Schneider as the Bulldogs trailed 29-14 after three quarters.
Marrah started off the final period by driving the Oilers 74 yards in eight plays and scored on an 11-yard keeper to increase the advantage to 36-14. The Bulldog rally started soon after, though, as Schneider found the endzone from a yard away after a 63-yard drive in nine plays with just over nine minutes remaining.
Williams scored for the final time on a one-yard burst off tackle with only 3:26 left as Findlay chewed up six minutes in a 54-yard drive to take a 43-21 edge.
The Bulldogs were able to score twice in the final 2:28 to make it interesting as Schneider found senior receiver Mike Ryan (Howell) on an 18-yard scoring strike to finish a 52-yard drive in only 53 seconds. The Bulldogs recovered the ensuing onside kick and moved 65 yards in 10 plays before scoring with only 30 seconds left on Schneider's one-yard plunge.
Overall, the Oilers rolled up 470 yards of total offense and had 336 yards on the ground as Williams rambled for 170 yards and three scores. Marrah was six-of-10 in the air for 116 yards and two TD's.
Schneider paced FSU with 258 passing yards and three touchdowns on 29-of-39 attempts. He was intercepted twice in the first half. Redshirt freshman back Levonte Brooks led FSU with 58 rushing yards in relief as the Bulldogs were limited to 140 yards on the ground and 398 total yards.
Junior linebacker Mike Elias led FSU with 11 tackles while junior defensive end Jordan Morgan posted 10 stops and had 1.5 sacks. He also had a blocked kick, a forced fumble, fumble recovery and recovered an onside kick.
Isaiah Ballard totaled a game-high 17 tackles for Findlay, which improved to 3-3 overall and 3-2 in the GLIAC.
Ferris State fell to 4-2 overall and 3-2 in conference play with the setback.
The Bulldogs will host Northern Michigan in their annual homecoming contest next Saturday, Oct. 15, at FSU's Top Taggart Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. (ET).