Grand Rapids Press Game Story
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Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University football team rallied back from a 17-point first quarter deficit to stun archrival and nationally third-ranked Grand Valley State 40-24 on Saturday (Oct. 6) night to capture the Anchor-Bone Trophy at Lubbers Stadium in Allendale.
The Bulldogs posted their first win over the Lakers since 1999 as three players rushed for more than 100 yards in FSU's first meeting with the Lakers under new head coach Tony Annese.
"Obviously, it was a big win, but it was an especially special game and win for our seniors," Annese said. "It's far more about them. They've been through a lot here. For them to come to Grand Valley and win a game like this, I'm just so proud of them.
"With all they've been through and what I've thrown at them, you know they had good reason to wonder, 'Hey, this guy is putting some demands on us.' So, to have this happen for the seniors, they've been believers."
A sellout crowd of more than 13,000 fans witnessed the Bulldogs' upset over GVSU, which came largely by virtue of 536 yards of total offense including 457 on the ground.
Ferrjs State's first win over GVSU in 13 years allowed the Bulldogs to take the Anchor-Bone Trophy for the first time since the trophy's inception in 2002.
GVSU jumped out quickly and appeared to be well on its way to a 12th-straight win over the Bulldogs with a 17-0 first quarter lead that was helped by two costly Bulldog turnovers along with a short punt. Brandan Green caught a 34-yard TD pass from Isiah Grimes with 8:38 to play in the first to give GVSU the early advantage.
The Lakers added a second score only two minutes later as Grimes scored from four yards away on a short 25-yard scoring drive. Grand Valley State added a 22-yard field goal at 3:03 of the first quarter to push the advantage to 17 points.
From that point, however, the Bulldogs outscored the Lakers 40-7 en route to the win.
The FSU scoring started with only 25 seconds left in the initial frame on a 33-yard field goal from Austin Kantola to cap a 35-yard drive in nine plays.
Ferris State then drove 80 yards in nine plays to trim the margin to 17-10 with 9:20 remaining in the half on a six-yard scoring run from quarterback Jason Vander Laan. He added a second touchdown with 5:24 left in the second on a 63-yard QB sprint up the middle to tie up the game at 17 points apiece.
The Lakers managed to push their lead back to 24-17 when Kirk Spencer scored from 26-yards away with only 3:13 left in the half. However, the Bulldogs received a 32-yard field goal from Kantola to cut the halftime deficit to 24-20 after marching 60 yards in 12 plays.
The third period belonged to the Bulldogs. Tailback Korey Ringer opened the half with a 70-yard touchdown run on FSU's first offensive play to give the Bulldogs their first lead of the night at 27-24.
After getting the ball back, the Bulldogs then drove 71 yards in 12 plays to take a 10-point lead with 9:15 to go in the stanza on a one-yard TD run by Skyler Stoker.
The final Bulldog score was a 56-yard scoring run by Jamaal Jackson with only 1:06 left in the third frame. From that point, the Bulldog defense was able to hold and FSU was able to run out the clock in the fourth quarter.
Vander Laan ran for 185 yards and two scores while Ringer added 131 yards and Jackson ran for 107 yards. Vander Laan also threw for 79 yards on 10-of-17 passes.
The Lakers totaled 363 yards on 62 plays with 175 coming on the ground and 188 in the air on 14-of-34 passing for Grimes. He was intercepted once by FSU senior Jaime Barerra late in the fourth quarter, which helped preserve the win.
Senior linebacker Tayo Moss led the Bulldog defense with 14 stops while Jordan Morgan had nine. Charles Hill paced GVSU with 10 tackles.
With the win, the Bulldogs improved to 4-2 overall and 3-2 in the GLIAC. GVSU suffered its first loss of the season as the Lakers fell to 5-1 overall and 4-1 in conference play.
The Lakers had owned a 27-12-1 all-time series edge heading into the game and had won the previous 11 meetings by an average scoring margin of 35-10. The 24 total points allowed by the Bulldogs were the fewest registered by the Lakers this season.
The win also snapped the Lakers' 12-game winning streak dating back to last year, which had been the longest active winning streak in Division II football. Meanwhile, FSU's 40 total points represented the first time the Bulldogs had scored more than 20 points versus the Lakers since 2000.
Ferris State returns home for "homecoming" against Hillsdale next Saturday (Oct. 13) with kickoff set for 2 p.m. (ET) at Top Taggart Field.