#25 Hillsdale Spoils Bulldog Homecoming With League Win
Big Rapids, Mich. - Nationally 25th-ranked Hillsdale spoiled Ferris State's homecoming as the Chargers fought back from a six-point second half deficit to beat the Bulldogs 30-20 in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) North Division play on Saturday (oct. 13) at FSU's Top Taggart Field.
The Chargers bolted out to an early 14-0 lead as the Bulldogs turned the ball over twice in the opening half under rainy and wet conditions in Big Rapids. The scored initially on their opening drive of the game as quarterback Anthony Mifsud engineered a 75-yard drive in eight plays before scoring on a keeper from six yards out with 11:07 to play in the opening stanza.
Hillsdale's second score came with 8:29 to play in the first period when tailback Joe Glendening found paydirt from two-yards away to finish a short 25-yard drive in only four plays that was aided by a Bulldog turnover.
After the tough early start, though, the Bulldogs battled back with three consecutive scores over the second and third quarters to build a 20-14 edge with 12:18 to play in the second half.
FSU's first score came from redshirt freshman signal caller Jason Vander Laan, who plunged in from the one-yard line with 12:07 to go in the first half after orchestrating an 81-yard Bulldog march in eight plays.
Vander Laan added a second TD run from a yard away with 3:28 to play in the half after driving FSU 80 yards in eight plays again. Both drives took nearly four minutes. FSU had an extra point and a field goal blocked in the first half and trailed 14-13 at the break.
The Bulldogs opened the second half by moving 75 yards in only seven plays to take their only lead of the contest at 20-14 on fullback Jamaal Jackson's one-yard scoring run with 12:18 left in the third quarter.
From that point forward, however, all the scoring belonged to the Chargers. They tied up the game with 6:17 remaining in the third quarter when Mike Carter hauled in an eight-yard scoring pass from Mifsud to finish a 74-yard march in 13 plays.
Hillsdale took the lead again with 13:37 remaining in the contest when Colin McGreevy connected on a 23-yard field goal to finish a lenghly 15-play drive that covered 68 yards and took 6:11 off the clock.
The final Charger score came from Glendening on a one-yard run with 6:18 left as the Chargers drove 80 yards in eight plays. A late Bulldog drive into Charger territory was halted by a costly turnover and the Chargers were able to run out the clock at the end.
Hillsdale tallied 419 total offensive yards to 351 for the Bulldogs. HC had 218 yards rushing on 53 carries and Mifsud threw for 201 yards on 16-of-22 passing with one TD.
Glendening led the Chargers on the ground as he rolled up 171 rushing yards on 36 carries and scored twice against the FSU defense. The H-Back, Cam White, caught six passes for 66 yards to lead the Charger receivers.
On the Bulldog side, FSU totaled 204 yards rushing on 45 attempts with Vander Laan running for 129 yards and two TD's on 28 carries. Senior Skyler Stoker rambled for 62 yards on eight tries and he also caught four passes for 89 yards as Vander Laan completed eight-of-12 passes for 147 yards.
Defensively, senior linebacker Tayo Moss paced FSU with a game-high 14 tackles, which included six solo efforts. Senior linebacker Mike Elias added 11 tackles with senior Jaime Barrera contribuing eight stops.
Devin Moynihan paced Hillsdale with 12 tackles as the Chargers improved to 5-2 overall and 5-1 against GLIAC competition. FSU fell to 4-3 overall and 3-3 in league play with the setback.
The contest was the 41st consecutive meeting dating back to 1972 between the Bulldogs and Chargers, who are guided by a former FSU head coach in Keith Otterbein. He led the Chargers to their fourth win over the Bulldogs in the last five tries and it was the seventh loss in nine homecoming meetings for Ferris State against Hillsdale.
The Bulldogs will attempt to get back in the win column next Saturday, Oct. 20, as they host the Michigan Tech Huskies on "Dog Day" at Top Taggart Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. (ET) as both of FSU's remaining home contests this season will start at 1 p.m. (ET).
Tickets for next Saturday's game can be purchased in advance for those fans wishing to save $2 per ticket over gameday rates. Please call the FSU Athletics Ticket Office at (231) 591-2888 during normal business hours Monday thru Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (ET) for more information or visit FerrisStateBulldogs.com. Tickets can also be purchased online at StarTickets.com.