Ferris State Sweeps GLIAC Offensive & Defensive Weekly Awards After Win Over GVSU
Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University football team made it a clean sweep of this week's Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Offensive and Defensive Player of the Week awards following the Bulldogs' 54-44 win over archrival Grand Valley State in the Anchor-Bone Classic on Saturday (Oct. 12) night at Top Taggart Field.
FSU sophomore quarterback Jason Vander Laan (Frankfort, Ill./Chicago Christian) claimed the GLIAC's Offensive Player of the Week honor for the second time this season after leading the Bulldogs to their second-straight win over the Lakers while senior cornerback James Stewart (Detroit/University Prep) earned this week's Defensive Player of the Week nod as the Bulldogs held onto the Anchor-Bone Trophy.
Vander Laan keyed the Bulldogs' win over the 24th-ranked Lakers as he ran for 210 yards on 27 carries (7.8 avg.) with two TD's on the ground as Ferris State rolled up a school-record 465 yards rushing. He also threw for 118 yards on nine-of-16 passing with two scores under rainy conditions as the Bulldogs netted 583 yards of total offense.
FSU ran for nearly 300 yards in the second half to beat GVSU for the first time in Big Rapids since 1995 and it also marks the first time since 1994-95 in which the Bulldogs have beat the Lakers in back-to-back seasons. Vander Laan engineered a key Bulldog drive late in the third quarter after GVSU had taken a 23-20 edge as he moved FSU 81 yards in five plays to give the Bulldogs the lead for good. His 27-yard touchdown run with 2:52 to play sealed the victory for FSU with the win enabling the Bulldogs to keep pace in the GLIAC North.
Meanwhile, Stewart made a critical play in the Bulldogs' victory at Top Taggart Field. After the Bulldogs had taken a 10-point lead early in the fourth quarter in the back-and-forth contest, Stewart intercepted a tipped Laker pass and raced 62 yards to the endzone on the pick six to push the margin to 17 points, which helped clinch the win. He finished the game with six tackles as the Bulldog defense limited GVSU to 340 yards of total offense in the contest.
The victory was the Bulldogs' sixth all-time series' triumph over the Lakers in Big Rapids and the first at Top Taggart Field since 1995. With the win, Ferris State vaulted up 11 spots to 15th nationally in the CompughterRatings.com national poll with the victory.
This week, the Bulldogs will hit the road as FSU visits Hillsdale on Saturday (Oct. 19) for a 2:30 p.m. (ET) league kickoff at Muddy Waters Stadium in Hilldale, Mich. Both teams have only one loss in GLIAC play entering Saturday's matchup.