The Ferris State football team stayed undefeated after a 49-39 win on the road against the Northern Michigan Wildcats on Saturday.
The Dawgs got things going early, scoring just 50 seconds into the contest. Northern Michigan got the ball to start the game but fumbled on their first play from scrimmage. It took the Dawgs only two plays before Antonio Agurs rushed for a 10-yard touchdown.
Two drives later, Agurs would fumble himself and NMU recovered on the FSU 18-yard line. The Wildcats capitalized on the mistake one play later and tied the game up 7-7 on a Marcus Tucker touchdown reception.
The fumbles kept coming as the Dawgs fumbled again in their own their own territory, this time coming at the hands of FSU quarterback Jason Vander Laan. The Ferris defense made a big stop and held the Wildcats to a field goal as NMU took a 10-7 lead.
The Bulldogs would regain the lead after Vander Laan ran for a short touchdown on the first play of the second quarter. He would come back on Ferris State’s next drive and run for another three-yard TD to finish off a 10 play, 99-yard drive that put FSU ahead 21-10.
The Wildcats would not go away, coming back strong with two scores of their own to take a 24-21 lead. This would be NMU’s last lead of the game after the Bulldogs scored on a 22-yard pass from Vander Laan to Jamel Lockett with just 15 seconds left in the first half.
The second half was an unbelievable offensive battle that saw the Bulldogs and Wildcats trade touchdowns on five straight drives, with the Bulldogs getting the last laugh.
Northern Michigan would turn the ball over on downs on their final drive of the game on an incomplete pass from the Ferris 22-yard line. The Bulldogs would put together a 66-yard drive to run out the clock and improve to 9-0 on the season.
Ferris State put together 550 yards of total offense to NMU’s 316. The FSU defense held the Wildcats rushing attack to just 28 yards. If it wasn’t for a 37-yard run by NMU halfback Terrance Dye, the Wildcats would have ran for -9 yards in the game.
Jason Vander Laan ran the ball a whopping 38 times for 175 yards and four touchdowns. He also went 15-20 with 197 yards, a TD and an interception in the contest.
Vander Laan’s four touchdowns were enough to make him the all-time leader in rushing touchdowns in Div. II football. Vander Laan passed Shawn Graves of Wofford College who ran for 72 touchdowns in his career. Vander Laan has 75 career rush TD’s after the game against NMU.
Robert Thomas III had 12 carries for 60 yards and a Bulldog touchdown. Jake Lampman was the top receiver for the Dawgs with eight catches for 114 yards.
Ferris State will look to cap off their second straight undefeated regular season against Walsh at noon on Saturday, Nov. 14 at Top Taggart Field.