Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University football squad earned a hard-fought 24-14 Senior Day victory over the Northwood Timberwolves in FSU's final regular-season home contest on Saturday (Oct. 28) at FSU's Top Taggart Field.
The nationally 11th-ranked Bulldogs honored a group of 25 seniors prior to potentially their final home tilt and rewarded them with a victory against the Timberwolves.
FSU bolted out to an early lead by scoring on its first offensive series when the Bulldogs drove 73 yards in nine plays before senior quarterback Reggie Bell hooked up with junior wideout Malik Taylor on a 30-yard scoring strike. Taylor had a huge first quarter with six catches for 106 yards.
The Bulldogs increased their lead to 14-0 when slot Devontae Harrington raced to the endzone on a 15-yard sweep with 12:29 to go in the first half. It capped an eight-play, 40-yard FSU jaunt.
The 14-0 lead stood up until the fourth quarter when FSU pushed the advantage on three scores on senior kicker Wyatt Ford's 35-yard field goal with 7:34 to play. His kick came after a short five-play, 14-yard drive setup on a short field.
However, Northwood answered as the Timberwolves marched 61 yards in eight plays to find paydirt on quarterback Joe Garbarino's 34-yard pass to Travis Vuich in the endzone with 5:42 to play.
The Bulldogs responded with a TD drive of their own shortly after as FSU drove 80 yards in six plays to find the endzone on Jevon Shaw's two-yard burst. His scored pushed the lead to 24-7 with 3:03 remaining.
The Timberwolves had a final hook-and-ladder touchdown with Vashon Nutt racing 64 yards to the endzone on a throw from Garbarino with only 2:44 to play. NU eventually recovered an onside kick but a Garbarino pass was picked off by FSU senior cornerback Tavierre Thomas as the Bulldog defense preserved the victoyr.
FSU totaled 449 total yards in the win while limiting NU to only 286 total yards. FSU gave up only 93 rushing yards to Northwood's potent ground attack on 39 tries.
Bell completed 11-of-22 passes for 189 yards and a score while senior tailback Jahaan Brown had 12 carries for 128 yards. Taylor finished with six catches for 106 yards.
Northwood was led by Garbarino, who threw for 193 yards and two scores on 10-of-27 passing. However, he was intercepted twice and sacked three times by FSU. Nutt led the Timberwolves with 42 rushing yards on four carries while also catching a team-high tying two passes for 76 yards and a score.
Defensively, senior linebacker Nick Huckabay had a team-high eight tackles for the Bulldogs while Thomas added seven stops, an interception and a pass breakup. Senior KC Zenner also had seven tackles and defensive end Zach Sieler finished with five tackles, three tackles for loss, a sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
With the win, the Bulldogs improved to 7-1 overall and 6-1 in the GLIAC. FSU has now won its last five games in a row and finished the regular-season unbeaten (5-0) at Top Taggart Field.
The Bulldogs will visit Davenport next Saturday (Nov. 4) for their first-ever matchup against the Panthers starting at 12 p.m. (ET).