When the Bulldogs walked out onto the field in front of 13,456 fans on their nationally third-ranked rival’s turf, 2-2 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and against their league’s leader, they could only imagine walking off the field chanting their fight song with the Anchor Bone Trophy held in their hand, on course for Big Rapids and the trophy case.
On Oct. 6 Ferris State delivered Grand Valley State University their first loss this year, mortifying the Lakers 40-24 to end GVSU’s 12-game winning streak which carried over from last season. Ferris State rushed for a record setting 457-yards. The previous record was set Oct. 10, 1973 at 417 yards.
“As a team we performed amazingly,” Senior linebacker Tayo Moss said. “Our offense was running over Grand Valley and it was awesome to watch!”
Ferris State was able to break a 13 year spell which had kept the Bulldogs from submerging the Grand Valley State Lakers in Allendale, Mich. Next season, the Lakers will pay their first visit to Top Taggart Field in search of the Anchor Bone trophy since the trophy’s inception in 2002.
“This win was huge because we are still in the hunt for playoffs and a GLIAC title,” Moss said. “To finally win and sing our fight song on their field was an amazing feeling! We finally brought the trophy to Big Rapids!”
In the first 11:57 of the first quarter, the Bulldogs held on to the ball for 7:05 but only scored 3 points to the Lakers 17. An early fumble allowed GVSU back to back touchdowns.
Ferris State used their opening possession of the second half to score their first touchdown on a 6 yard run from redshirt freshman quarterback Jason VanderLaan. VanderLaan scored his second touchdown of the game to take a 17-14 lead over GVSU on a 63 yard run.
Vander Laan, junior running back Korey Ringer and sophomore running back Jamaal Jackson combined for a total of 423 of the Bulldogs 457 yards rushed. Vander Laan rushed for 185 himself, while throwing for 79 yards on 10-of-17 passing. Vander Laan was named the GLIAC’s Football Offensive Player of the Week Oct. 8 for his effort against the Lakers.
On the first play of the second half, Ringer sneaked a handoff from Vander Laan past Grand Valley for a 70 yard touchdown which gave the Bulldogs a 27-24 lead.
“When Ringer scored the first play after half that really made a statement for our team,” Moss said. “We played great on both sides of the ball!”
The Bulldogs moved the ball on the ground for an average of 80 yards per drive for a touchdown against the Lakers.
Ferris State’s defense only allowed the Lakers one touchdown while the Bulldog’s offense outscored GVSU 40-7 in the final three quarters. Ferris’ defense shutout GVSU for the final half of the game, allowing Ferris to outscore Grand Valley 20-0 in the third quarter.
Moss had a game-high 14 touchdowns, 12 of which were assisted. Senior defensive end Jordan Morgan added nine stops of his own.
“I have always said our defense is going to be the best in the GLIAC,” Moss said. “I still stand by that statement!”
At 4-2 overall, the Bulldogs await Hillsdale’s league leading defense which only allows 266.5 yards per game, 717 of the 1599 yards given up by the Chargers are on the rush. The Chargers, who are 4-1 in the GLIAC and 4-2 overall, have brought down 13 interceptions this year for three touchdowns and 176 yards covered on the ground.
Ferris State will try to improve this season’s 1-1 record on Top Taggart Field in Big Rapids against Hillsdale Oct. 13 at 2 p.m. Annese and the Bulldogs ask that all fans represent Ferris in red to red out the Chargers for Homecoming.