Bulldogs Fall In Anchor-Bone Classic To GVSU

FSU's Tom Schneider tries to find yardage in Saturday's game (Photo Courtesy Doug Witte, GVSU)
FSU's Tom Schneider tries to find yardage in Saturday's game (Photo Courtesy Doug Witte, GVSU)

Big Rapids, Mich. - A quick start fueled Grand Valley State to a 57-10 victory over Ferris State in the Anchor-Bone Classic on Saturday (Oct. 22) evening at GVSU's Lubbers Stadium in Allendale, Mich.

The host Lakers scored on their opening possession of the contest and racked up 21 points in the first quarter in building a 38-7 halftime advantage in the annual West Michigan rivalry matchup played before a crowd of 9,197 fans on a chilly night.

With the setback, the Bulldogs fell to 5-3 overall and 4-3 in the GLIAC while GVSU also improved to both 5-3 overall and 4-3 in conference play.  Both teams are now tied for second place in the league's North Division standings and trail Saginaw Valley State and Indianapolis by one game with contests left in the season.

The Lakers moved quickly on their first drive in defeating FSU for the 11th consecutive time. Quarterback Heath Parling led a 63-yard drive in only six plays to give the Lakers an early 7-0 edge on a 11-yard TD pass to Charles Johnson with 12:06 to go in the first quarter.

FSU marched the ball down the field on the ensuing drive, but missed a field goal from 29 yards away with 8:05 left in the opening quarter.  From there, the Lakers drove 80 yards in seven plays before Parling hooked up with Johnson again from 19-yards away to make it a 14-0 contest with 4:27 left in the frame.

The Bulldogs fumbled on the following possession and the Lakers needed only three plays and 32 yards to take a 21-0 edge on Hersey Jackson's two-yard scoring run with just under two minutes left in the initial period.

The Laker lead grew to 28-0 as Parling found Jovonne Augustus from nine-yards out to finish a short 32-yard drive setup off a Bulldog punt that traveled only nine yards.  GVSU's lead grew to 31-0 as Ryan Stokes connected on a 35-yard field goal with 5:31 left in the half.

Ferris State finally got on the board with 1:37 remaining in the half when senior receiver Mike Ryan (Howell) found senior quarterback Tom Schneider (Jerome/Addison) on a nine-yard throwback pass to finish a 71-yard march in eight plays.  However, the Lakers answered quickly again as Parling spearheaded a 53-yard jaunt in only five plays and found senior wideout Greg Gay on a 18-yard TD strike with 38 seconds to go in the first half.

GVSU picked up right where it left off in the third quarter as the Lakers scored twice more to build the advantage to 50-7 after three periods.  Gay caught a one-yard scoring pass to finish off the first drive early in the third and then Parling connected with Israel Woolfork on a nine-yard TD connection with 2:57 left in the period to cap a 96-yard Laker drive.

Ferris State scored its final points with 12:34 to go in the game on freshman kicker Victor Bodrie's (Northville) 30-yard field goal.  That finish a 70-yard Bulldog drive featuring 13 plays.  GVSU added a late TD with 1:19 left when Ben Hutchins found paydirt from a yard away to account for the final margin.

Overall, the Lakers rolled up 631 yards of total offense with 232 on the ground and 399 in the air.  Parling was 21-of-28 for 336 yards and six TD's while Jackson ran for 106 yards on 12 carries and Johnson hauled in six receptions for 144 yards and two scores.

The Bulldogs totaled 369 yards, including 171 rushing and 198 passing with 22 first downs.  Schneider completed 15-of-29 balls for 156 yards and also ran for a team-high 72 yards on 18 carries.  Ryan caught four passes for 35 yards in the game to lead the FSU receivers.

GVSU finished nine-of-nine in the redzone to FSU's two-of-five showing.

Sophomore Jonathan Flynn (Traverse City/West) paced Ferris State with eight tackles while Brad Howard led the Laker defense with a game-high nine stops, including one sack.  GVSU finished with four sacks and had four tackles for loss in addition to five quarterback hurries and four pass breakups.

Ferris State returns home and will host Indianapolis next Saturday (Oct. 29) in a 2 p.m. (ET) contest at FSU's Top Taggart Field in Big Rapids. It will be "Kids Day" with all kids 12 and under admitted free compliments of Huntington Bank and special activities throughout the day.