Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University football team wrapped up its 2011 campaign on a winning note as the Bulldogs beat Northwood by a 30-14 count in their season finale on Saturday (Nov. 12) at FSU's Top Taggart Field.
The Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) win lifted the Bulldogs to their first winning season since 2008 as FSU concluded the season with a 6-5 overall record and a 5-5 conference mark.
The Bulldogs snapped a three-game losing skid by beating the Timberwolves, who finished the year at 2-9 overall and 1-9 in GLIAC play.
The FSU victory came on Senior Day as nine seniors wrapped up their collegiate careers in the win, including wide receivers Damien Miller, Mike Ryan and William Frazier along with quarterback Tom Schneider, punter Shawn Snoor, offensive lineman Jake Hancock, defensive tackle Muneer Bawayeh and defensive backs Antwian Windmon and Courtney Tipton.
Ferris State opened the scoring with 5:09 to play in the first quarter as junior back Dwayne Williams bolted thru the Northwood defense on a 55-yard TD run to finish a 72-yard drive that took only two plays and 22 seconds.
Northwood answered with 8:39 to play in the half when quarterback Josh Sinagoga scampered in from three yards out to make it a 7-7 contest after NU drove 98 yards in a long 17-play drive that lasted nearly nine minutes.
The Bulldogs regained the advantage with 7:08 remaining in the half as Ryan hauled in a 59-yard scoring reception from Schneider to make it 14-7 in favor of FSU. FSU marched 71 yards in five plays on the drive.
FSU tacked on seven more points with only 37 seconds to go in the period as redshirt freshman Levonte Brooks scored from six yards away to finish a seven-play, 50-yard Bulldog scoring drive, which gave Ferris State a 21-7 edge.
However, FSU gave Northwood too much time as the Timberwolves needed only 23 seconds to move 67 yards in three plays before Sinagoga scored for the second time of the afternoon from two-yards to cut the lead to 21-14 at intermission.
After a scoreless third quarter, the Bulldogs increased their lead to 24-14 on a 42-yard field goal from freshman kicker Victor Bodrie with only 2:56 left in the contest.
Soon after, FSU added another touchdown to account for the final margin when junior defensive end Jordan Morgan intercepted a tipped pass and reached the endzone on a 22-yard TD return.
Ferris State finished with 346 yards of total offense, including 221 on the ground and 125 in the air. Schneider completed 11-of-22 throws in his final collegiate contest and also led FSU with 70 yards rushing on 13 carries. Ryan was the Bulldogs' leading receiver with four catches for 73 yards.
Northwood had 269 of its 333 total yards on the ground with Cameron Jackson running for 204 yards on 41 carries in the setback. Sinagoga was three-of-seven in the air for 64 yards and added 63 rushing yards on 16 tries.
With Northwood running the ball 62 times in the contest, the Bulldogs also put up some big numbers defensively as junior linebacker Alex Brajak made a game-high 18 tackles. Defensive lineman Rance Mask added a career-best 15 stops with Morgan making 15 as well to go with his interception return, a sack and two quarterback hurries.
Ryan Whittum led NU defensively with 11 tackles in the game.
In addition to finishing the 2011 campaign with a winning record, the victory also allowed FSU to finish with a 5-1 mark in home contests this season at Top Taggart Field.