The #1 ranked Ferris State Bulldogs decimated the Northern Michigan Wildcats in record setting fashion in their first interconference game this season on Saturday, Sept. 30.
Following their loss at Montana two weeks previous, the Bulldogs (3-1, 1-0 in conference) played with a vengeance as an offensive and defensive onslaught powered them to a 78-3 win over a winless Northern Michigan team (0-5, 0-1 in conference). The 78 points scored by the Bulldogs sets a new program record whilst prolonging a 12 year streak of the Bulldogs beating the Wildcats.
Head coach Tony Annese remained humble in the blowout victory, not giving much thought to setting a program record.
“I really don’t care much about the record,” Annese said. “I was trying to temper down the number. [You] never want to put a big number on someone. But, you also don’t want to like put yourself in a situation where you’re setting your team up for failure.”
Annese also added that he wanted the team to come into this game with a “sense of urgency” citing that you either “grow or you die.”
The Bulldogs quickly put up 27 points in the first quarter while holding their opponents to zero. In the second quarter, the Bulldogs put 28 points and only allowed the Wildcats to score three points off a field goal.
Going into halftime with a 55-3 lead over the Wildcats. The Bulldogs went on to score 23 points in the second half and shut the Wildcats out to win the game. The 78 point effort topples a previous record set by the Bulldogs in 2014 when they played McKendree University and put up 75 points.
The Bulldog offense was firing at all cylinders, which is what Annese wanted the team to come out with, in what was their best offensive performance so far this year. The Bulldogs were able to reach deep into their depth chart and get multiple players time on the field.
One of those players was sophomore quarterback Trinidad Chambliss, who found it nice to be out on the field while also crediting his teammates for helping him have a big game.
“It was nice to run the ball and get out there,” Chambliss said. “Props to my offensive line. They had a really good game moving a lot of defenders out there and making holes for me and also my receivers blocking on the outside.”
Chambliss led the rushing attack for the Bulldogs rushing for 125 yards on 5 attempts and 2 touchdowns. The team rushed for 497 yards on 55 attempts with 8 touchdowns.
The passing game was successful early for the Bulldogs. Senior quarterback Mylik Mitchell went 6-7 on 139 yards and 2 touchdowns. The passing game had 208 yards and 3 touchdowns. Wide receiver Xavier Wade caught all three touchdowns on three receptions for 78 yards.
As impressive as the offense looked it was also an impressive showing from the defense. The defense allowed only 98 yards of total offense from the Wildcats, forcing 7 punts while getting four sacks and two interceptions.
Senior defensive lineman Olalere Oladipo had 2 sacks in the game and senior defensive back Shon Stephens snagged an interception. This was his third interception in as many games.
Oladipo sees that this Bulldog defense is growing, especially the defensive line, with their ability to get after the opposing team’s quarterback.
“We’ve grown every week after that first game,” Oladipo said. “I can tell you our defensive line wanted to ring the necks of our secondary but these guys they’re growing and we’re growing as a defensive line too, we’ve been telling each other we got to get to the quarterback quicker and we’ve been doing that.”
The Bulldogs will not only be looking to continue to grow but to also replicate the success they had in their first conference game in the games yet to come.
The Bulldogs will remain at home for their next contest against the Saginaw Valley State Cardinals. For the past two years, the Bulldogs have narrowly survived upsets against the Cardinals, beating them 33-28 last year and 47-45 in 2021. The second interconference match of the season will take place on Oct. 7 at Top Taggart Field. Game time is set for 1 p.m.