Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University football team put together its most complete performance of the season as the Bulldogs recorded a decisive 41-10 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) home win over Wayne State on Saturday (Nov. 2) afternoon at FSU's Top Taggart Field.
The Bulldogs bolted out to a 17-3 halftime lead and scored 17 more points in the third quarter to build a 34-3 edge heading into the final stanza to put the game out of reach. The dominating performance ensured the Bulldogs of a winning season for the eighth time in the last 11 years.
A balanced Ferris State attack keyed the Bulldogs' second-straight victory following a 30-27 come from behind road win at Michigan Tech last week. It was also FSU's second-straight at Top Taggart Field to go along with the Bulldogs' Anchor-Bone Classic triumph versus rival Grand Valley State three weeks ago.
Ferris State rolled up 467 yards of total offense and the defensive unit limited the Warriors to only 268 yards in notching the win. FSU also received contributions from its special team unit, including recovering a blocked punt on the first drive of the third quarter to help set the second half tone.
After being stopped on its opening offensive series, the Bulldogs drove 62 yards in nine plays on FSU's second possession to find the endzone on a five-yard TD run by junior fullback Jamaal Jackson. The touchdown run was his first of four scores on the day.
The 7-0 lead stood up until midway thru the second quarter when Ferris State marched 76 yards in seven plays to grab a two-touchdown advantage on a 15-yard scoring run from Jackson with 8:31 left in the half.
Wayne State finally cracked the scoring column with 2:39 to play in the half when Stefan Terleckyj connected on a 26-yard field goal to wrap up a 10-play, 65-yard drive.
However, Ferris State answered two minutes later as senior kicker Austin Kantola hit a 29-yarder to offset the Warriors' field goal with 25 seconds remaining until halftime. His kick came after FSU had moved 51 yards in 11 plays in a little over two minutes.
Wayne State took possession of the ball to start the second half, but the Warriors were held on downs. On the ensuing punt attempt, Terleckyj's kick hit one of his blockers, who was pushed backwards by the Bulldogs' surge. FSU took over at the Wayne State 10-yard line and Jackson capitalized with his third touchdown run on the following play to push the edge to 24-3.
Ferris State held the Warriors again and the Bulldogs then needed only seven plays and 40 yards to push the margin to 27-3 on a 29-yard field goal from Kantola.
The Bulldogs added anotehr score with 2:38 to play in the third when sophomore quarterback Jason Vander Laan connected with junior wideout Jake Lampman on a 38-yard TD pass. It finished a lengthy 75-yard Bulldog drive in seven plays.
Wayne State found the endzone for the only time in the contest with 12:58 remaining in the game when senior tailback Toney Davis reached paydirt from two-yards away to cap a 59-yard drive in 10 plays.
The Bulldogs later tacked on another touchdown when Jackson reached the endzone for the fourth and final time with 10:30 left after FSU moved 41 yards in only five plays to account for the final score.
Jackson led the Bulldogs' potent ground attack with 68 yards on 12 carries as FSU rolled up 277 rushing yards on 47 tries. The Bulldogs also had 24 first downs to 15 for the Warriors. His performance was a key for FSU, which lost senior tailback Korey Ringer to injury in the first half.
Along with Jackson, sophomore slot Antonio Agurs had an impressive game for the Bulldogs wtih seven carries for 60 yards. He also added a game-high 11 catches for 80 yards as Ferris State's go-to threat in the contst.
Besides Jackson and Agurs, the Bulldogs received 43 yards on the ground from tailback Kitwana Clark along with 40 yards on 12 carries from Vander Laan. The Bulldog signal caller threw for 190 yards on 18-of-24 passing. In addition to Agurs' team-high 11 catches, Lampman also totaled 72 yards receiving on four catches to aid the Bulldog cause.
Wayne State was led by Davis on the ground with 62 yards on 13 tries. Desomond Martin added seven runs for 49 yards and Chris Burke carried the ball six times for 29 yards.
The Warriors played three different quarterbacks on the day with Sean Guinane seeing the final action and completing a squad-high five-of-10 throws for 57 yards. Dominique Maybanks had five catches for 30 yards to pace the Warriors in the air.
Bulldog junior linebacker Terrell Porter spearheaded the Bulldog defense with 11 stops in the contest. Senior Marvin Robinson added eight tackles and Darnell Morris recorded seven stops. Meanwhile, Ed Viverette led WSU with a game-high 13 total tackles.
Ferris State took care of the ball as the Bulldogs had only a single turnover late in the contest. FSU also converted six-of-11 third down plays while holding WSU to a three-of-14 effort.
With the win, Ferris State improved to 6-3 overall and 6-2 in conference action to date this year. WSU fell to 3-6 overall and 3-5 in the GLIAc with the loss. The win was Ferris State's second-straight over the Warriors in the all-time series.
The Bulldogs, who have two games left in the regular-season, will visit Northwood next Saturday (Nov. 9) for a 12 p.m. (ET) kickoff in Midland, Mich. FSU then returns home to host Northern Michigan on Nov. 16 at noon in Big Rapids in the regular-season finale.