Ferris State Opens 2016 With Dominating Home Win Before Large Crowd

Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University football squad opened its 2016 campaign in dominating fashion as the nationally 12th-ranked Bulldogs ran their regular-season winning streak to 26-straight games with an impressive 41-0 shutout over Ohio Dominican at FSU's Top Taggart Field.

The two-time defending GLIAC Champions built a 17-0 halftime lead and cruised past ODU before a season-opening crowd of more than 5,000 fans on an electric night in Big Rapids.

Junior transfer quarterback Reggie Bell earned his first Bulldog start and completed 17-of-27 passes for 154 yards and two scores while adding 102 rushing yards on 14 carries, including a 73-yard scoring scamper in his FSU debut.

Meanwhile, the Bulldog defense kept Ohio Dominican in check as they allowed only 198 yards of total offense. The Panthers were stuffed on the ground as they were limited to only 53 yards rushing on 30 carries.

Ferris State compiled 477 yards of total offense and ran for 302 yards on the ground in the victory. The Bulldog defense forced four turnovers and special teams was also impressive as all three phases contributed in the win.

The Bulldogs opened the scoring with five minutes to go in the opening quarter when Bell found senior slot receiver Jamel Lockett across the middle on a 25-yard scoring toss to cap a 10-play, 52-yard drive.

Late in the first period, Bell found an opening and raced 73 yards down the sideline to paydirt as the Bulldogs increased their advantage to 14-0 following the first period.

FSU added a 22-yard field goal from junior Wyatt Ford with only seven seconds to play in the first half to push the edge to 17-0 at the break. The final scoring drive of the opening frame covered 75 yards and took 18 plays.

The Bulldog lead grew to 24-0 with 6:03 left in the third period when junior tailback Jahaan Brown scored his first TD of the season on a two-yard burst to finish a 13-play, 83-yard FSU scoring jaunt.

The lead stood until five minutes into the fourth quarter when Bell hooked up with Lockett again on a 15-yard scoring reception. The duo's scoring play capped a drive that featured 11 plays and 74 yards.

The scoring didn't stop there as senior quarterback Trevor Bermingham came on and connected with senior slot Jalen Couch for a nine-yard TD toss with 5:15 to play. Finally, Ford added a 46-yard field goal with 3:31 left to account for the final margin.

The shutout victory was Ferris State's first since 2008 and the win marked the Bulldogs' third consecutive season-opening victory under head coach Tony Annese.

Along with Bell's performance, Lockett hauled in nine passes for 91 yards and two scores while adding six carries on the ground for 26 yards. Brown ran for 79 yards on nine attempts with Robert Thomas III totaling 60 yards on 14 runs. 

The Bulldogs spread the football around to eight different receivers in the air. In addition with Lockett, Devontae Harrington and Couch both caught three passes while Marquel Hines made two catches for the Ferris State offense.

Defensively, the Bulldogs were paced by sophomore end Zach Sieler, who had 10 stops in addition to three tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble. Senior linebacker Anthony Darkangelo made seven tackles with defensive end Marquis Dawsey recorded six tackles, two tackles for loss and two sacks in the win.

Ferris State will hit the road for the next two weeks as the Bulldogs venture to Houghton next Saturday (Sept. 10) for a 1 p.m. (ET) matchup against Michigan Tech at Sherman Field. FSU then heads to Northwood on Sept. 17 before hosting nationally-ranked Ashland in the homecoming game on Sept. 24 at Top Taggart Field.