Big Rapids, Mich. - A quick start and an early fourth quarter score led the 13th-ranked Ferris State University football squad to a narrow 20-17 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) road win over the Findlay Oilers on Saturday (Oct. 1) night at Donnell Stadium in Findlay, Ohio.
The Bulldogs scored on their opening possesion of the contest and then came up with a big fourth period answer after the Oilers took their only lead of the game in notching their 16th-straight road win dating back to 2013.
Ferris State jumped on the board first in the opening period as FSU scored on its first drive via a 49-yard TD run from junior quarterback Reggie Bell. His scored finished a game-opening seven-play, 88-yard jaunt for FSU.
The Oilers, though, responded by moving 67 yards in 12 plays with Tyler Bugeja converting a 27-yard field goal trim the FSU lead to 7-3 at the end of the first period.
The game featured an early second period delay as the lights went out on the home side of the field at Donnell Stadium with the Oilers driving. When the lights came back, the Bulldog defense came up with a big stop to preserve the FSU advantage.
Ferris State increased its lead to 10-3 when Wyatt Ford drilled a 28-yard field goal with only 22 seconds left in the half after a short six-play, 40-yard Bulldog drive.
Soon after, the Ferris State defense forced an Oiler turnover on an interception and Ford made a 37-yard field goal as the half expired to give FSU a 13-3 lead at the break.
Findlay cut the margin to 13-10 with 7:13 left in the third period when Rhys Gervais hooked up with Jason Moore on a 69-yard scoring completion to finish an 86-yard Oiler drive that took only five plays.
The Oilers grabbed their only lead of the game with 11:05 remaining when the duo hooked up again on a nine-yard scoring play to put UF in front 17-13.
The lead didn't last long as Ferris State needed only 1:03 and three plays to move 65 yards with Bell scoring the go-ahead TD on a five-yard run with 10:02 to play. After a defensive interception by safety Willie Smith deep in Bulldog territory, the offense ran out the final minutes to preserve the win.
Ferris State finished with 410 total offensive yards in the game. Bell completed 14 of 22 passes for 168 yards while Jahaan Brown ran for 107 yards on 19 carries. Bell also had 86 yards on the ground with Jajuan Pollock catching two passes for 55 yards and Jamel Lockett hauling in six catches for 50 yards for FSU.
On the Findlay side, Gervais completeed 27-of-45 throws for 380 yards and two scores. Moore had a team-high 124 receiving yards on five catches with Airion Kosak grabbing eight balls for 107 yards. Findlay totaled 428 yards overall, but was limited to only 48 yards on the ground in dropping to 2-3 overall this year.
With the win, Ferris State improved to 4-1 overall and in the GLIAC this season.
The Bulldogs will next visit archrival Grand Valley State next Saturday (Oct. 8) for a 7 p.m. (ET) Anchor-Bone showdown at Lubbers Stadium in Allendale
Courtesy: Ferris State Athletics