University Center, Mich. - The Ferris State Bulldogs took nationally 16th-ranked Saginaw Valley State to overtime, but came out on the short end of a 31-24 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) gridiron decision at Wickes Memorial Stadium on Saturday (Sept. 29) night before a crowd of more than 8,000 fans.
The Bulldogs held a 24-17 lead late in the fourth quarter, but a costly fumble allowed SVSU to drive 28 yards in five plays to knot the score on a 13-yard scoring toss from Jonathan Jennings to Tim Hogue wioth 1:25 remaining in regulation.
FSU was able to drive into Cardinal territory in the final minute of regulation before the drive stalled, which gave SVSU new life. The Cardinals had a potential game-winning field goal try as time expired, but could not convert as the two teams went to the extra session.
In overtime, Saginaw Valley State received the football first and was able to score on a one-yard TD pass from Jennings to Nathan Hoyle. They they forced the Bulldogs into a fourth and 20 situation on the ensuing possession and Ferris State redshirt freshman quarterback Jason Vander Laan was sacked on the game's final play as SVSU preserved its homecoming win.
After a 25-yard field goal from FSU's Austin Kantola allowed the Bulldogs to take a 3-0 lead after one period, the Cardinals appeared to have the game in their hands as they scored twice quickly early in the second quarter on a pair of Hogue TD's to build a 14-3 advantage.
However, FSU bounced back and cut the margin to 14-10 at halftime on a 17-yard scoring pass from Vander Laan to Jake Lampman with 5:59 to go in the second, which finished a 60-yard Bulldog drive in five plays.
FSU took a 17-14 advantage late in the third quarter when Vander Laan moved the Bulldogs 45 yards in four plays and scored on a keeper from 20-yards out. SVSU responded by kicking a 41-yard field goal with 1:46 to play in the third after a Bulldog miscue.
In the fourth quarter, Ferris State drove 75 yards in 11 plays to build its 24-17 lead with 11:04 remaining and the score stood for most of the frame. FSU had an opportunity to seal the victory after a big defensive stop late in the game, but fumbled in its own end trying to pick up a first down to keep the clock moving which led to Hogue's game-tying touchdown.
Ferris State turned the ball over four times in the game to only once for SVSU, which helped offset 514 total yards of offense for FSU. The Bulldogs allowed 393 yards to the Cardinals, but only 138 on the ground. Both teams had 25 first downs.
FSU received 439 yards on the ground, including a game and personal career-high 254 yards and two scores from Vander Laan. He completed eight-of-19 passes for 75 yards with Lampman making two grabs for 23 yards.
On the SVSU side, Hogue, who spent two seasons at Ferris State before transferring to SVSU, ran for 86 yards on 18 carries while Jennings completed 27-of-52 passes for 255 yards and three TD's. Michael Albrecht caught eight passes for 71 yards while Hogue had seven grabs for 75 yards.
Defensively, Bulldog senior Jaime Barrera had 10 tackles for FSU while Jeff Heath paced SVSU with a game-high 18 stops.
Ferris State fell to 3-2 overall and 2-2 in the GLIAC with the setback while SVSU improved to 4-1 overall and 3-1 in the GLIAC.
The Bulldogs head to Allendale to face rival and unbeaten Grand Valley State in the Anchor-Bone Classic next Saturday (Oct. 6) evening at Lubbers Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. (ET).
Bulldog Bites: The contest represented the 38th consecutive meeting between the two teams dating back to the mid-1970's ....... It marked the second-straight year in which an announced crowd of more than 8,000 fans turned out to watch the two teams at Wickes Memorial Stadium ...... Vander Laan's 254 yards rushing were the most by a Bulldog player since former back Andrew Terry ran for a school and NCAA Division II single-game record 410 yards against Findlay in 2004 (10/2). It was also the first time a Bulldog topped the 200-yard mark since Shawn Grigg ran for 201 yards at Northern Michigan in 2006 (9/30) ....... The Bulldog coaching staff helped support "Coaches To Cure MD" by wearing arm patches during the contest ....... The game was the first of seven consecutive GLIAC North Division matchups for the Bulldogs ........ FSU was nine-of-16 on third down conversions while SVSU finished only four-of-17 on the night.