Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University football team suffered its first home loss of the 2011 campaign on Saturday (Oct. 29) as the Bulldogs dropped a narrow 24-17 setback to the Indianapolis Greyhounds at FSU's Top Taggart Field.
The Bulldogs fell to 5-4 overall and 4-4 in league action with their second consecutive loss while Indianapolis held onto a share of first place in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) North Division standings by improving to 7-2 overall and 6-2 in the conference. FSU had been a perfect 4-0 at home this season entering the game, which was played before a "Kids Day" crowd of 2,075 fans.
Ferris State struck first as the Bulldogs tallied the first points of the game with 2:50 left in the first quarter on senior quarterback Tom Schneider's (Jerome/Addison) two-yard scoring run. FSU needed only three plays to move five yards as the score was setup by a 59-yard interception return from junior linebacker Alex Brajak (Munster, Ind.).
Indianapolis responded to knot the score at 7-7 when Mar'Quone Edmonds hauled in a 17-yard TD aerial from quarterback Chris Mills to cap a 40-yard Greyhound drive in four plays. The score came with only 4:05 to go in the first half.
The Bulldogs bounced back and march 56 yards in nine plays to take a 10-7 lead when freshman kicker Victor Bodrie (Northville) connected on a 27-yard field goal with just 1:30 remaining in the initial half.
However, the scoring for the opening half was not finished as the Greyhounds grabbed a 14-10 halftime edge when Mills hooked up with Ryan Forney on a 22-yard scoring play with only 16 seconds left in the half to finish a 58-yard drive in eight plays.
Indianapolis' lead grew to 21-10 as Mills marched the Greyhounds 60 yards in nine plays midway thru the third stanza. He found Joe Leach in the endzone from 20-yards out to give UI an 11-point lead with 5:39 remaining in the frame.
Ferris State was not finished as the Bulldogs pulled within 21-17 on Schneider's 31-yard TD pass to senior receiver Mike Ryan (Howell) with 3:21 to go in the third period. FSU drove 60 yards in eight plays to make it a four-point game.
The Greyhounds were able to push the lead back to a touchdown at 24-17 with 12:21 left in the contest when Scott Miller made a 30-yard field goal to finish a 12-play, 64-yard drive.
Following the Indianapolis field goal, the Bulldogs marched inside the Greyhounds' five-yard line, but came up empty as they were stopped three times and had a bobbled snap on a potential field goal try on fourth down. FSU got the ball back twice more, but could get no closer than the Indianapolis 43-yard line.
The Greyhounds had 406 yards of total offense to 362 for the Bulldogs while both teams had 22 first downs. UIndy totaled 187 yards on the ground and Mills was 21-of-33 in the air for 219 yards and three scores.
Meanwhile, the Bulldogs were limited to only 73 rushing yards on 39 carries with freshman fullback Jamaal Jackson (St. Joseph) pacing the ground game with 40 yards on 10 attempts. Schneider completed 24-of-39 passes for 289 yards and a score, but was sacked three times.
Eight of Schneider's completions went to Ryan for 75 yards while senior receiver Will Frazier (Redwood City, Calif./Palo Alto) had five grabs for 95 yards, including a 40-yard catch. Senior receiver Damien Miller (Elsie/Ovid-Elsie) caught for passes for 68 yards.
Indianapolis was led in rushing by Klay Fiechter with 88 yards on 17 tries while Forney caught six balls for 76 yards and Edmonds had five for 49 yards.
Defensively, the Bulldogs were paced by junior linebacker Tayo Moss (South Rockwood/Monroe St. Mary's), who a game and personal career-high 15 stops, including a pair of solo efforts. Junior defensive back Jaime Berrera (Fremont, Calif./Washington) made 13 taciles and Brajak had 12 stops to go with his interception and a quarterback hurry. John Strickland and Max Davis both made 12 tackles for the Greyhound defense.
Indianapolis was held to only four-of-13 on third down while FSU was eight-of-16, but the Bulldogs scored only twice in four tries inside the red zone while the Greyhounds were perfect in three tries.
Ferris State will play its last road contest of the year next Saturday, Nov. 5, as the Bulldogs travel to the Upper Peninsula to face Michigan Tech. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. (ET) at MTU's Sherman Field in Houghton, Mich.