Football flattens Waldorf

Bulldogs dominate in homecoming victory over Waldorf

Carson Gulker recorded five rushing touchdowns during Ferris’ 69-3 victory over Walsh on Homecoming. Photo by: Marissa Russell | Multimedia Editor

In the Homecoming finale, Ferris State football, the nation’s number one Division II team, capped off the week of festivities with a commanding 69-3 victory over NAIA power Waldorf.

The Bulldogs scored 35-points in an impressive second quarter, and their defense dominated, allowing only 93 yards of total offense to the Warriors. Defensive Coordinator Ryan Hodges was very pleased with the way his defense played. 

“This team does a great job of ignoring the things that we can’t control and taking advantage of the opportunities that we have to get on the field,” Hodges said.

Ferris began the afternoon with a huge spark offensively. Following a Waldorf three-and-out, Evan Cummins completed his first of 19 passes of the night to Tyrese Hunt-Thompson for a 63-yard touchdown. The Bulldog defense halted the Waldorf passing attack with an interception by sophomore Vincent Cooley, his second on the season.

The defense gave the football back to Cummins and the offense, but the offense nearly lost a fumble and botched a fourth down snap. This gave the Warrior offense the ball inside the five. Hodges’ squad needed a stop, and they got it by forcing a Warrior field goal to give them a 7-3 lead.

“We do not get to determine where the ball gets placed when we take the field,” Hodges said. “When Waldorf started the drive on the 5-yard line, we need to be determined to keep them out of the end zone. That’s what we did.”

The offensive slowed for the next four minutes following a 28-yard field goal by Eddie Jewett. Ferris broke through the drought with five straight quarterback touchdown runs. Three of them went to redshirt freshman Carson Gulker, who added two more scores later in the third quarter for his ninth touchdown this season.

Ferris entered the second half with a 45-3 lead, including five forced turnovers and only 38 yards allowed. The defense continued their dominance with two more sacks and three tackles for loss in the second half. Derrell Mabon added a nine-yard touchdown run later in the fourth quarter to pad the Bulldog lead to the final score of 69-3. 

In the postgame press conference, Annese made sure to thank Waldorf for making the trip.

“I was impressed by their offense on film,” Annese said in the postgame press conference. “Thanks to Waldorf for coming to play us.”

Ferris finished with 450 yards of total offense, 255 yards of which came through the air. Cummins led the Bulldogs with 207 yards, two touchdowns and one interception on 13 of 19 attempts. Gulker paced the Bulldogs on the ground with 51 yards on 10 attempts, including five touchdowns. Mabon and Cummins added a combined 54 rushing yards and two touchdowns. 

For receiving, Hunt-Thompson and Brandon Childress led the team with three catches and one touchdown each, going for 81 yards and 44 yards respectively.

For the Bulldog defense, Hodges’ unit held the Warriors to 93 yards and only six total first downs. Sefa Saipaia paced with six tackles up front. Jovan Bayless and Brett Philion each added five stops, with Bayless recording an additional 1.5 tackles for loss, a forced fumble and fumble recovery. Caleb Murphy continued his streak with at least one sack, moving him to 7.5 sacks on the season. Jamil Thomas also added an interception for the Bulldogs.

According to Jordan Jones, the team’s performance was largely attributed to the entire team’s focus in preparation.

“We were able to prepare for two weeks and were ready to go as soon as that ball kicked off,” Jones said. “Everybody got to play, and we didn’t miss a beat.”

Ferris State moves to 3-0 on the season and will likely remain the nation’s number one team in Division II. The Bulldogs return to action on the road Saturday, Oct. 1 at 12 p.m. against the Findlay Oilers.