Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University football team had an impressive fourth-quarter comeback, but fell short in a 38-33 loss to the Northwood Timberwolves in its final regular-season home contest on Saturday (Nov. 3) afternoon at FSU's Top Taggart Field.
The Bulldogs dropped to 6-4 overall and 5-4 in league play with the loss. FSU will close out the season next Saturday (Nov. 11) on the road as FSU ventures to Marquette to face Northern Michigan at 1 p.m. (ET) inside the Superior Dome.
Ferris State opened its senior day contest by honoring a large group of 17 players prior to their final home games at Top Taggart Field.
The contest started off in style as the Bulldogs bolted out to an early 13-0 advantage in the opening quarter. The Bulldog defense held NU to start the game and the offense came back with a 21-yard scoring pass from redshirt freshman quarterback Jason Vander Laan to tailback Korey Ringer to give FSU a 7-0 lead only 1:14 into the game.
Then, following a Bulldog interception by James Stewart, the offense drove 38 yards in three plays to take a 13-0 edge on Jamaal Jackson's seven-yard TD run with 10:50 to play in the first quarter.
However, the extra point was blocked and nearly ran back for a score, which appeared to shift the momentum into Northwood's favor.
From that point forward, the Timberwolves scored the next 31 consecutive points to build a 31-13 lead in the contest.
Northwood moved 75 yards in 14 plays to score following the blocked extra point on a one-yard scoring run by Jordan Jonker with 4:09 remaining in the period.
NU reached paydirt again with only 35 seconds to go in the initial frame on a 22-yard TD toss from Mark Morris to Davonte Elzy to cap a 65-yard drive in six plays.
The lone score of the second quarter belonged to the Timberwolves as Terrance Stocker caught a 25-yard pass from Morris to wrap up a 60-yard drive in eight plays with 7:28 left in the stanza.
The Timberwolves picked up right where they left off in the third quarter as Jonker finished a 47-yard drive with a one-yard run to make it 28-13 with 11:07 left in the period. NU then tacked on a 47-yard field goal from Alex Faust with 6:48 remaining in the period to push the lead to 31-18.
FSU finally answered back as the Bulldogs drove 71 yards in nine plays before Vander Laan hit sophomore wideout Jake Lampman with a 17-yard TD pass to trim the lead to 31-20 with 3:29 to go in the third.
However, Northwood responded with a 69-yard march in seven plays that was ended by a one-yard scoring run from Jonker near the end of three periods.
With the Bulldogs trailing 38-20 heading into the final period, FSU was able to climb back within striking distance. Ferris State drove 94 yards in an 18-play drive to cut the lead to 12 points with 6:19 left on a three-yard scoring toss from Vander Laan to Lampman.
After holding the Timberwolves, the Bulldogs drove 69 yards in 13 plays to make it a 38-33 game as Vander Laan hooked up with Phil Annese on an 11-yard scoring play with 2:46 remaining in the game.
The Bulldogs elected to kick the ball to Northwood and got a critical defensive stop coupled with a punt return to NU territory. The Bulldogs were able to reach the NU 30-yard line before the drive stalled and Northwood preserved the victory.
Ferris State managed to roll up 437 yards of total offense with 227 on the ground and 210 in the air on 24-of-45 passing from Vander Laan. Lampman made seven catches for 70 yards and had two scores in the receiving game.
On the ground, Ringer led the Bulldogs with 81 yards on 12 carries while Vander Laan added 79 yards on 26 tries.
Northwood totaled 112 yards rushing, but had 252 in the air for 364 yards of total offense. Morris completed 23-of-35 passes for 252 yards and two TD's. Jonker paced NU on the ground with 85 yards and three scores on 26 carries.
Defensively, senior linebacker Tayo Moss had 14 tackles for the Bulldogs while Spencer Remtema paced NU with 15 stops, including three for loss.
Northwood improved to 5-5 overall this season and snapped a five-game losing streak with the victory.