For the first time since the 1994-1995 campaigns, Ferris State Football has won back-to-back contests against the Grand Valley State Lakers.
The Bulldogs opened up the rushing floodgates, winning 54-44 and rushing for 483 yards.
This came after a weekend during which the defense could not find traction against Saginaw Valley State.
This week, the Ferris State Bulldogs were able to produce the important early stops.
Despite giving up an early field goal, the Ferris State defense kept most of the play in front of them throughout the first half.
Late in the first quarter, Bulldog’s senior kicker Austin Kantola converted a field goal from 27 yards out to tie the score at three.
After forcing another stop, the Bulldogs turned around and drove down the field quickly in the second quarter.
With 12:06 remaining in the second quarter, sophomore quarterback Jason Vander Laan reared back and lofted a high arching pass to the far corner of the endzone.
Redshirt freshman receiver DeWayne Boston turned and faded backwards in the air to get his hands on the jump ball, pulled it in, and crashed back down to the scarlet turf of the endzone to pull the Bulldogs ahead 10-3.
The Lakers found their way into the endzone at 4:50 remaining in the first half on a 27-yard rush by sophomore running back Kirk Spencer, to tie the game at 10-10.
The score only remained tied for 2:40, as Vander Laan rushed into the endzone from 8 yards out.
The Bulldogs came out of halftime ahead 17-10, the Bulldogs kicked away, allowing the Lakers a chance to pull the score even.
A flurry of scores ensued, including a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Grand Valley’s Kirk Spencer, which was followed a minute and a half later by a 33 yard rushing touchdown by Ferris State senior running back Korey Ringer.
The manic third quarter gave way to a track meet of a fourth quarter.
Up 27-23 going into the quarter, Vander Laan connected with junior receiver Jake Lampman for an 11-yard score, to pull the Bulldogs up by ten, following a missed PAT.
On the ensuing Grand Valley drive, junior quarterback Heath Parling gunned a ball down the field and towards the Ferris State sideline that was tipped into the hands of senior cornerback James Stewart, who took the ball back for a 62-yard touchdown.
The fourth quarter scoring line read 27-21 in favor of Ferris State by itself, and upon recovering a third attempted onside kick, Vander Laan was able to call in the victory formation and drain the clock.
Vander Laan finished with 222 rushing yards on 27 attempts for two touchdowns. The sophomore also added 118 yards and two touchdowns through the air.
Perhaps overlooked for his lack of touchdowns this week, junior running back Jamaal Jackson averaged 7.0 yards per carry on his way to a 92-yard rushing performance.
The 4-2 Bulldogs are headed out for a road trip at Hillsdale next weekend, Oct. 18. Last season, the Chargers’ downed the Bulldogs 30-20 on Homecoming in Big Rapids. Kickoff is slated for 2:30 p.m. at Muddy Waters Stadium.