Midland, Mich. - A quick start and a stingy defense fueled the nationally 18th-ranked Ferris State University football team to a 27-7 road win in its 2014 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) opener as the Bulldogs remained unbeaten with the victory at NU's Hantz Stadium in Midland.
The Bulldogs scored on their first two possessions of the contest in building a quick 13-0 lead and shutout the Timberwolves until the final quarter en route to the convincing win. With the triumph, FSU improved to 2-0 overall this season heading into next week's home opener versus archrival Grand Valley State in the Anchor-Bone Classic.
FSU received the ball first and moved 73 yards in only two plays as the offense struck quickly on a 67-yard touchdown run to paydirt for junior All-America quarterback Jason Vander Laan only 37 seconds into the contest.
Following a defensive stop, the offense took control again and marched 71 yards in six plays with Vander Laan hooking up with junior slot receiver Antonio Agurs for an impressive 56-yard scoring play to make it a 13-0 lead.
The score stood up until late in the opening half when FSU took advantage of a costly Northwood turnover. Redshirt freshman safety KC Zenner picked off an NU pass and gave the offense possession at the Northwood 36-yard line. From there, FSU used six plays before senior wideout Jake Lampman scampered into the endzone from three-yards out to give the Bulldogs a 20-0 lead at the break.
Neither team was able to find the endzone in the third period as both defenses stiffened. But, midway thru the fourth quarter, FSU came up with a lengthy 16-play, 73-yard drive that took nearly seven minutes off the clock. Agurs hauled in a seven-yard scoring toss from Vander Laan to push the lead to 27-0 in favor of the Bulldogs.
However, Northwood's Bryan Thomas ran back the ensuing kickoff 51 yards into Bulldog territory and the Timberwolves finally put some points on the board with a 33-yard drive in five plays, which was capped by a one-yard Mitch Robinson TD run.
Overall, Ferris State totaled 390 yards of total offense and limited NU to only 248 yards. The Bulldogs ran for 262 yards on 47 attempts while limiting NU's triple-option ground game to only 108 yards on 35 tries.
Vander Laan ran for a game-high 89 yards on 12 tries with a score while completing 13-of-19 passes for 128 yards and two TD's. Senior back Jamaal Jackson added 67 yards on 10 carries with Agurs chipping in 43 yards on the ground. He also had a team-best three catches for 63 yards and two scores while Lampman caught three passes for 22 yards.
For Northwood, the Timberwolves' Robinson completed 11-of-22 passes for 121 yards with backup Mark Morris completing three-of-five attempts for 19 yards. Robinson also led the Timberwolves on the ground with 40 yards rushing on 12 carries.
Defensively, Zenner paced FSU with nine total tackles in addition to his interception and a tackle for loss. Fellow redshirt freshman Nick Huckabay tallied seven stops and had six solo hits in addition to a tackle for loss and a sack. Sophomore backer Anthony Darkangelo chipped in with six solo tackles. Both Mike Keith and Michael Fisher had 11 stops apiece for Northwood, which fell to 1-1 overall and in the GLIAC.
Ferris State will return home to host GVSU in its home opener on Saturday, Sept. 20, with kickoff set for 7 p.m. (ET) at Top Taggart Field. Tickets for the Anchor-Bone Classic, presented by New Horizon's, are currently on sale and can be purchased in advance online at StarTickets.com or call (231) 591-2888 for more information.
Quick Start & Strong Defensive Effort Lifts #18 Ferris State To League-Opening Win As Bulldogs Remain Unbeaten
Sep 13, 2014