GAME FOUR RECAP:
#2 GRAND VALLEY STATE 31, #24 FERRIS STATE 13
Bulldogs Fall In Anchor-Bone Classic To Rival Lakers
The nationally 24th-ranked Ferris State Bulldogs put up a valiant fight, but second-ranked Grand Valley State was too much to overcome as the Lakers recorded a 31-13 triumph over FSU Saturday (Sept. 20) evening in the Anchor-Bone Classic before a record crowd of 14,612 fans at Lubbers Stadium in Allendale, Mich.
The victory was GVSU's 35th-straight in regular-season action, including the Lakers' 33rd consecutive Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) win. It came in a battle of unbeaten teams as FSU dropped to 3-1 overall and 2-1 in the GLIAC while the Lakers improved to 3-0 both overall and in conference play.
The Lakers seized control early as Ferris fumbled deep in its own end on its second offensive possession and the Lakers moved only 20 yards in four plays to take a 7-0 advantage on Greg Gay's three-yard scoring pass from Brad Iciek with 7:33 to go in the first frame.
GVSU added another score only five minutes later as Blake Smolen found paydirt on a 10-yard TD pass from Iciek at the 2:10 mark of the opening quarter.
Ferris cut the deficit in half with 9:26 to go in the second quarter on senior back Paris Holloman's two-yard TD run following an 83-yard Bulldog drive that took 13 plays and nearly eight minutes off the clock. However, GVSU answered with only 1:22 to play in the half as Smolen hauled in a 39-yard scoring pass on a quick 80-yard drive that took only 1:13 on five plays.
The Bulldogs again came within a touchdown with 3:41 left in the third quarter as quarterback Tom Schneider plunged in from the one-yard line to cap a seven-play drive covering 58 yards. However, the extra point attempt was blocked.
GVSU answered the challenge again, however, as Smolen opened the fourth quarter with a 15-yard TD run, which finished off a 64-yard drive. The Lakers added a 37-yard field goal from Todd Carter with 6:14 left to account for the final margin.
Ferris State outgained the second-ranked Lakers for the game as FSU tallied 360 yards of total offense on 67 plays compared to 332 yards on 52 plays for the Lakers. Ferris managed 167 yards on the ground with Holloman running for a team-high 63 yards. Schneider was 20-of-32 in the air for 193 yards, but had two interceptions as Jacob McGuckin came up with two picks for the Lakers.
Meanwhile, Iciek completed 14-of-26 passes for 158 yards and three scores. The Lakers totaled 174 rushing yards with James Berezik rambling for a game-high 108 yards on 13 attempts.
Sophomore slot Tim Hogue caught a game and career-best 10 passes for 77 yards for FSU and senior receiver Cole Meredith added four grabs for 49 yards. Redshirt freshman Mike Ryan had three receptions for 52 yards and Holloman caught two balls for eight yards.
In addition to outgaining the Lakers on offense, the Bulldogs also held the ball for 35 minutes compared to only 25 minutes for the Laker offense. Both teams had 17 first downs.
Defensively, senior linebacker Kevin Noe made 11 total stops for FSU, including six solo efforts. Senior Jordan Moore chipped in with nine tackles. P.J. Beuke and Brad Howard both made 13 tackles for the Lakers, who defeated FSU for the eighth consecutive time.
The Bulldogs turned the ball over three times in the game while GVSU had a single turnover. In addition to the turnovers, the Bulldogs' chances were also hampered by twice not scoring in the red zone during the contest.
Ferris finished two-of-four in the red zone and was nine-of-16 on third down conversions. The Lakers converted on four of their five trips inside FSU's 20-yard line and were 50% (5-10) on third down.
The Bulldogs finished with four penalties for 40 yards and GVSU was also called for four penalties resulting in 35 yards.
The game represented the fourth time the two teams have met when both were ranked nationally and resulted in the Lakers' first win in those matchups. However, the three previous times all came from 1993 to 1995.
Saturday's record crowd topped the previous Lubbers Stadium mark of 14,557 that watched the same two teams play back in 2005.
Ferris State returns home to host Northern Michigan in the school's ninth annual Hall of Fame Game Saturday, Sept. 27, at Top Taggart Field in Big Rapids, Mich. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. (EDT).