The Bulldogs advance to 2-0 in the GLIAC following a solid performance against defending conference champion Ashland.
Ferris State (2-1) defeated the Ashland Eagles (0-3) 34-7 on the road to pick up their second consecutive win. Ferris is also now in a four-way tie for the lead in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) standings. Ashland, last year’s GLIAC champion with an 11-1 record, now moves to 0-3 after being put away by the Bulldogs.
“It was a great win for us,” Ferris senior running back Korey Ringer said. “It was the first time since I have been at Ferris where we controlled the whole game from beginning to end. It was a huge victory.”
Ferris had no trouble putting points on the board as the Bulldogs scored on their opening drive to put Ashland in an early deficit. Ferris sophomore quarterback Jason Vander Laan put the first points up on a 12-yard touchdown run to cap off an eight play, 71 yard march. The score was 7-0 for the entirety of the first quarter, where Ferris’ defense allowed only 17 yards.
The second quarter read the same as the Bulldogs scored three more unanswered touchdowns, putting the Eagles in a 27-0 hole going into halftime. These tallies came on two scoring runs from Ferris junior receiver Jake Lampman and senior tailback Korey Ringer. The third and final touchdown of the first half was a 20 yard pick-six by Ferris sophomore linebacker Justin Zimmer.
The next points would not come until the fourth quarter as Ashland freshman signal-caller Tra’Von Chapman ran in from 15 yards to end Ashland’s 12 play, 74-yard scoring drive. The touchdown and ensuing extra-point were the Eagles’ only points of the game.
The Bulldogs answered right back on the next possession, as Vander Laan again bulldozed his way into the end zone for a two-yard touchdown. This score was the final of the game as Ferris’ defense continued to shut down all three Ashland quarterbacks that played, leading to a 34-7 victory for the Bulldogs, and a 2-0 start in conference play.
In the end, Ferris racked up 500 total offensive yards to Ashland’s 269, with 300 yards on the ground and 200 through the air. Vander Laan led the scoring attack with 174 passing yards and 53 rushing with two rushing touchdowns and two interceptions. Ferris junior receiver Dontae Ingraham led the team with 127 all-purpose yards, which included a 44-yard reception; the longest play for Ferris.
Defensively, Zimmer had a career-high day with eight tackles, 2.5 sacks and the aforementioned interception for a touchdown. Ferris junior corner A.J. McEwan also had an interception, bringing his season total to three; a team high. Ferris senior safety Marvin Robinson once again led the team in tackles with nine.
“It was our best game as a team that I have ever seen,” Lampman said. “We went in there with the mindset that in order to be champions you have to knock off the champ, and we were full of energy and we just showed everyone that we are one of the best teams in the nation.”
Ferris will next travel to Walsh University to face the Cavaliers Saturday, Sept. 28, at Fawcett Stadium in Canton, Ohio. Kickoff is slated for 6 p.m.