Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University football team put together a dominating performance for the second consecutive week as the Bulldogs won their third-straight contest with an impressive 42-10 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) win over Northwood on Saturday (Nov. 9) in Midland.
The Bulldogs bolted out to a 14-0 first quarter edge and led 28-7 at the break en route to the decisive triumph. FSU improved to 7-3 overall and 7-2 in the GLIAC with the win.
Ferris State rolled up 492 yards of total offense, including 329 on the ground in the victory. Meanwhile, the defense allowed only 248 yards as NU struggled to move the football.
The Bulldogs struck first with 5:15 to play in the opening quarter as FSU moved 42 yards in only eight plays following a Northwood fumble. Kitwana Clark found the endzone from eight-yards out to give Ferris State the early lead.
After holding Northwood, the Bulldogs then scored quickly as sophomore quarterback Jason Vander Laan hooked up with sophomore slot Antonio Agurs on a 57-yard touchdown pass on the second play of the drive to push the advantage to 14-0 with three minutes left in the first frame.
Ferris State added seven more points to make it 21-0 early in the second when Vander Laan scored on a keeper from nine yards away to cap a 10-play, 65-yard jaunt.
Northwood finally found the endzone with 8:34 to go in the half as the Timberwolves marched 93 yards in 12 plays to score on a three-yard strike from quarterback Mitch Robinson to Eric Williams. The drive was aided by a few costly Bulldog penalties.
However, that would be the only time NU would reach the endzone the rest of the day as the defense shut down the Timberwolves' offense most of the way.
Ferris State responded after the Northwood drive by moving 75 yards in 10 plays to build a 28-7 lead with 3:45 remaining in the half as Vander Laan scored on a one-yard keeper.
Then, early in the second half, Vander Laan hooked up with junior wideout Jake Lampman on a six-yard pass to the endzone to make it a 35-7 game with 11:18 still remaining in the third period. The throw finished a five-play, 53-yard Bulldog drive.
Northwood took advantage of a short field midway thru the third period, but the Bulldog defense stepped up and forced a 22-yard field goal from Keegan Haggarty with 7:35 left in the frame as FSU led 35-10 heading into the final period.
In the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs found paydirt again when Vander Laan connected with wide receiver Dewawyne Boston on a 31-yard pass down the sideline to push the advantage to 42-10 with 10:47 to play. The throw marked the end of a long Bulldog drive that covered 96 yards in nine plays.
From there, the Ferris State defense held and the offensive unit was able to use ball control in the fourth quarter to seal the win.
Ferris State held a distinctive edge in time of possession as the Bulldogs controlled the ball for more than 38 minutes to only 21:51 for NU.
Vander Laan engineered the Bulldog attack with 194 yards rushing on 29 carries with two scores. He also completed eight-of-14 throws for 157 yards and three scores.
Agurs added 42 yards rushing on seven tries with Clark posting 32 rushing yards on five carries. Jamel Lockett came on to make two catches for 35 yards with Lampman hauling in two passes for 20 yards.
Northwood was led by Robinson, who completed 15-of-36 passes for 164 yards and a score. He also ran for a team-high 35 yards on eight carries. Jordan Jonker totaled 29 yards rushing on 15 attempts with Devonta Elzy catching six passes for 100 yards.
Defensively, both Marvin Robinson and Darnell Morris totaled eight stops apiece for Ferris State with Ricardo Duncan making seven tackles and Jamar Wimberly recording six stops. Duncan also forced a fumble and had a team-best three tackles for loss.
Michael Fisher led the Northwood defense with 11 total tackles in the outing.
The win was the Bulldogs third in a row this season and second over the Timberwolves in the last three series' matchups. It also avenged a 38-33 Northwood victory a year ago at FSU's Top Taggart Field and came under the direction of assistant head coach Rob Zeitman, who led the Bulldog staff due to the absence of head coach Tony Annese.
In addition, the win kept alive any potential Ferris State hopes for a NCAA Division II Playoff berth. The Bulldogs were 10th in the Super Region Four rankings this past week with the top six teams at the end of the season selected for the postseason action.
The Bulldogs will return home to host the Northern Michigan Wildcats in their regular-season home finale next Saturday (Nov. 16) at Top Taggart Field. Kickoff is at 12 p.m. (ET) and tickets are on sale now at StarTickets.com. Call (231) 591-2888 or visit FerrisStateBulldogs.com for more information.