Big Rapids, Mich. - Nationally third-ranked Ferris State got off to a fast start and cruised past Michigan Tech 42-24 to win the "Battle At The Ballpark" on Saturday (Oct. 6) at Fifth Third Ballpark in Comstock Park.
The Bulldogs stayed unbeaten on the year and claimed the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) triumph by beating the Huskies on the home field of the West Michigan Whitecaps.
In the first collegiate football game played at Fifth Third Ballpark since 2009, the Bulldogs scored 21 points in the opening period and led 28-0 at halftime en route to the win. Junior quarterback Jayru Campbell, who leads the country in passing efficiency, went 20-of-24 in the air for 291 yards and three touchdowns.
The Bulldogs struck first on their opening drive as Campbell engineered a six-play, 45-yard jaunt and capped the drive with a three-yard scoring pass to senior tight end Jacob Allen.
FSU added its second touchdown on the next Bulldog drive when Campbell hooked up with freshman receiver Xavier Wasde on a 38-yard scoring strike, giving FSU a 14-0 lead with 6:11 to go in the first. His throw finished a seven-play, 77-yard drive.
The Bulldogs added yet another first period score when junior slot Jevon Shaw found paydirt on a 30-yard scoring run, which ended a six-play, 53-yard march.
Ferris State would later tack on a late first-half score when Campbell scored on a 19-yard keeper with only 19 seconds to play in the second period. His run finished off a short six-play, 42-yard scoring drive.
The Huskies finally got on the board slightly less than six minutes into the second half when quarterback Will Ark hooked up with wideout Jacob Wenzlick on a 56-yard pass play to cut the margin to 28-7.
However, FSU answered soon after with a 10-play, 72-yard march. Slot Dion Earls wrapped up the drive with a 10-yard scoring run, making it a 35-7 game with 4:26 to play in the third.
The margin grew to 42-7 at the end of three as Campbell found redshirt freshman Sy Barnett on a 37-yard throw. The Bulldogs needed only four plays and 56 yards to cover the scoring distance.
In the fourth quarter, Michigan Tech scored on three possessions as the Bulldogs played nearly everyone in uniform. Jared Smith scored on a three-yard TD run with 14:57 to go before Ark found Ozzy Corp from 16-yards away with 7:31 left. The final score was a 24-yard field goal from Eric Zeboor with only 1:41 remaining in the game.
Ferris State totaled 616 yards of offense in the game, including 310 rushing yards and 306 thru the air. FSU also went three-of-three in the redzone and seven-of-12 (58%) on third down. Defensively, the Bulldogs gave up 443 total yards, but limited the Huskies to only 86 yards rushing on 28 attempts.
Campbell threw for three scores in the win along with his 291 yards on 20-of-24 passing with tailback Marvin Campbell leading a balanced ground game with 64 yards on 11 carries. Barnett caught eight balls for 132 yards with senior Keyondre Craig hauling in five passes for 44 yards. Shaw had three catches for 69 yards.
FSU's Austin Edwards paced the Bulldog defense with eight total stops and had both a sack and tackle for loss along with a quarterback hurry in the win.
For Michigan Tech, Ark went 17-of-31 in the air for 306 yards and two scores with Smith running for a game-high 69 yards on 21 carries. Wenzlick made six catches for 148 yards.
The Bulldogs improved to 6-0 overall and 4-0 in the GLIAC with the win while MTU fell to 2-4 on the year.
Ferris State will square off against archrival Grand Valley State in the Anchor-Bone Classic on Saturday, Oct. 13, at GVSU's Lubbers Stadium in Allendale. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. (ET). The game will pit two of the nation's top three teams from West Michigan.