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No. 7 Ferris State tops No. 13 Davenport in Top 15 showdown 28-7

The Bulldogs are now 6-0 all-time against the Panthers.

BIG RAPIDS, Mich. — The Ferris State University Bulldogs notched a big Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) home win on Saturday (Nov. 5) as FSU captured a 28-7 win over 13th-ranked Davenport in a national top 15 showdown at FSU's Top Taggart Field.

In the Bulldogs' regular-season home finale, FSU sent 19 seniors out in style by garnering the victory over the previously unbeaten Panthers, keeping playoff hopes intact heading into the final week of the regular season.

The nation's seventh-ranked Bulldogs generated 448 yards of total offense and limited DU to only 183 total yards, including only 24 rushing yards on 25 tries in the triumph.

Ferris State's defense set the tone early as redshirt freshman defensive back Justin Payoute intercepted a Davenport pass midway thru the first frame and raced 43 yards to the endzone on a pick six return, giving FSU the early momentum.

The Bulldogs pushed the lead to two scores late in the opening half as they took advantage of a short field following a punt and moved 40 yards in only seven plays over a 53-second span to make it 14-0 with Tyrese Hunt Thompson's two-yard scoring run with 47 seconds left before halftime.

In the second half, Davenport trimmed the contest back to a single score, pulling within 14-7 on its first offensive drive as DU marched 75 yards in seven plays. Quarterback Jason Whittaker found Roy Livingstone on a 23-yard TD strike less than three minutes into the second half.

However, Ferris State answered quickly as the Bulldogs took their first offensive drive of the second half and put together an eight-play, 75-yard scoring jaunt to push the lead back to two scores at 21-7 when Emari O'Brien reached the endzone on a five-yard TD run with 9:07 to play in the third.

Finally, FSU quarterback Mylik Mitchell scored on a three-yard keeper with 4:19 to play in the third to make it a 28-7 contest. His score finished a 60-yard scoring push for the Bulldogs.

Offensively, Mitchell completed eight-of-18 passes for 122 yards with Carson Gulker throwing for 32 yards on three-of-five passing. Senior Marcus Taylor ran for a game-high 105 yards rushing on 13 tries with slot receiver CJ Jefferson garnering 95 yards on eight attempts. Jefferson also led FSU in the receiving game with four catches for 64 yards.

Along with limiting Davenport to only 24 yards rushing, the Bulldog defense came up with a pair of interceptions and produced three sacks. Senior defensive back Cyntell Williams led FSU with nine stops in the game while Payoute had seven tackles to go with his pick six. Senior standout Caleb Murphy added six stops, a sack and 2.5 tackles for loss.

Whittaker went 18-of-32 passing for 159 yards for Davenport with former Bulldog national champion receiver Sy Barnett hauling in a team-high six passes for 70 yards.

With the win, Ferris State improved to 8-1 overall and 4-1 in the GLIAC with DU also falling to 8-1 overall and 4-1 in conference play. Both teams are ranked among the top five teams in Super Region Three and in position to earn NCAA Division II Playoff bids. The Bulldogs improved to 6-0 all-time versus Davenport.

Ferris State will close out regular-season play on the road next Saturday, Nov. 12, at Wayne State in Detroit. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. (ET) in the Motor City.

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