Despite a second quarter delay due to half of the lights going out in Donnell Stadium, the Bulldog got back to their winning ways when they traveled to Findlay, bringing a 20-17 victory back to Big Rapids.
After a tough homecoming loss last week, Ferris State started off the scoring for the evening when junior quarterback Reggie Bell took matters into his own hands, taking it on the ground 49 yards to the house. Kicker Wyatt Ford put in the PAT to put the Bulldogs up 7-0 with 11:47 to go in the first quarter.
The next drive saw Findlay answer back with a field goal by kicker Tyler Bugeja with 6:40 to go in the first. The 7-3 score would carry into the second quarter and stay that way until the Bulldog offense could march down the field to set up another Ford field goal with only 22 seconds to go in the half.
The Dawgs did not lie down and ride into the half, as senior defensive back David Churchwell picked off Oiler quarterback Rhys Gervais to set up one more field goal for Ford from 37 yards out to send the Dawgs into halftime with the 13-3 lead.
Despite being pinned back deep in their own territory near the start of the second half, Findlay was finally able to find the endzone when Gervais found Jason Moore for the 69 yard bomb. Oiler kicker Bugeja put in the PAT to shorten the gap making it 13-10 Dawgs.
Scoring ceased until the fourth quarter until Findlay struck once again. Gervais found Moore once more, this time for a 9-yard touchdown after first marching the offense 88 yards down the field. The PAT gave Findlay their first lead of the game, making it 13-17 in favor of Findlay with 11:05 to go in the fourth.
Shortly after, the Dawgs bit back with a 65-yard drive to set up Bell for the five-yard rushing touchdown. The score was first set up by Bell’s 42-yard toss to junior slot receiver Jajuan Pollock followed by another throw for 18 yards to senior slot receiver Jamel Lockett. The point after helped Ferris regain the lead, 20-17 with 10:02 to go in the game.
A third interception, this time picked off by junior defensive back Willie Smith, put the nail in the coffin for the Oilers. Ferris State was able to run out the clock for the final minutes of the game to ensure the 20-17 victory, which marks their 16th consecutive win on the road.
Both teams racked up over 400 yards of total offense, but the Ferris State defense consistently stole the momentum with three interceptions. The Dawgs dominated the run game with 242 yards on the ground to Findlay’s 48.
Junior running back Jahaan Brown carried the brunt of those rushing yards, finishing the night with 107 on the ground.
The Dawgs are on the road next week against league rival and No. 2 ranked Grand Valley State University in Allendale. Another late night kickoff is set for Saturday, Oct. 8 at 7:00 p.m.