Houghton, Mich. - The Ferris State University football team stormed back to record its first win at Michigan Tech's Sherman Field in 15 years as the Bulldogs pulled out a thrilling 30-27 win over the Huskies in Houghton.
The Bulldogs fought back from a 17-point second half deficit to win for the first time against Michigan Tech in the Upper Peninsula since 1998 as they improved to 5-3 overall and 5-2 in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) action.
Michigan Tech jumped out to the early advantage as the Huskies struck first with 6:31 left in the opening quarter on a 18-yard scoring run by Charlie Leffingwell, which finished a 78-yard drive that took 10 plays.
MTU scored on the first play of the second frame to push the edge to 14-0 when Jordan McConnell caught a seven-yard scoring pass from Tyler Scarlett to cap a 86-yard march in nine plays.
Ferris State cut the margin to 14-10 with back-to-back scores in the second frame. FSU drove 62 yards in only four plays to find paydirt on quarterback Jason Vander Laan's 27-yard scoring pass to Donate Ingraham with 13:36 left in the half.
Then, following a MTU fumble, Austin Kantola hit a 35-yard field goal to trim the margin to four points.
However, Michigan Tech pushed its lead to 21-10 at the break on Scarlett's two-yard scoring run that wrapped up a 53-yard drive in 10 plays which began on a Bulldog interception.
In the second half, the Huskies took advantage of another FSU interception to build the lead to 27-10 on Scarlett's five-yard keeper as MTU needed only 30 yards and eight plays to take the 17-point advantage.
From that point forward, though, the Bulldog defense stepped up to the challenge as they shut down Michigan Tech the rest of the way.
FSU cut the gap to 10 points as Vander Laan moved the Bulldogs 67 yards in 11 plays before scoring on a 14-yard keeper with 3:26 remaining in the third. Soon after, junior cornerback A.J. McEwen intercepted a Scarlett pass and set the Bulldogs up at the nine-yard line. From there, Vander Laan finally scored from a yard out to make it 27-23 at the end of the third.
The Bulldogs forced a Michigan Tech punt to start the fourth and needed only eight plays and 49 yards to take the lead for the first time on Ingraham's 15-yard scoring reception from Vander Laan with 11:40 to play.
The Bulldog defense made a final stand as FSU fumbled the ball away near its own 20-yard line. However, the defense forced fourth down and a pass into the endzone fell incomplete. From there, the offense did the rest and ran out the clock as FSU secured the win.
Ferris State totaled 431 offensive yards, which included 300 on the ground. Vander Laan ran for 218 yards and two scores to lead the way. He also completed 15-of-24 passes for 131 yards and two TD's.
Ingraham led the Bulldog receivers with 80 yards on seven catches and two scores. Antonio Agurs made three catches for 26 yards.
Michigan Tech finished with 158 rushing and 148 passing for 306 total yards. Leffingwell had 24 carries for 111 yards with Scarlett completing 13-of-23 throws for 116 yards.
The Bulldogs were seven-of-14 on third down and twice converted on fourth down while MTU was four-of-11 on third down tries.
Senior Marvin Robinson led the Bulldog defense with eight tackles while Terrell Porter had seven stops.
Ferris State returns home to host Wayne State next Saturday (Nov. 2) at Top Taggart Field. Kickoff is set for 12 p.m. (ET).
Tickets for next Saturday's game can be purchased in advance thru the FSU Athletics Ticket Office inside the Ewigleben Sports Complex or online at StarTickets.com as well as by calling (800) 585-3737.