Bulldogs win battle of unbeaten teams

HOUGHTON, Mich. — It was not the Huskies’ day on the Sherman Field gridiron. The battle of top-ranked and undefeated teams was controlled by No. 6 Ferris State, who earned a 37-3 victory over No. 13 Michigan Tech today. On a very windy afternoon in Houghton, the ability to run the ball became critical. The Bulldogs racked up 322 yards on the ground while the Huskies gained 87.

“We got beat,” said Tech coach Tom Kearly. “There’s no two ways about it. I want the credit to go where it should, and that’s to Ferris. They beat us in every aspect of the game.”

Evidence came early that showed it wasn’t the Huskies’ day when Tyler Scarlett‘s option pitch on the opening drive hit the turf and was recovered by Ferris at the Tech 24. Five plays later, the Bulldogs had a 7-0 lead on Shakur Sanders’ five-yard run.

A three-and-out by the Huskies led to another Ferris scoring drive. Jamel Lockett caught a 10-yard touchdown from Jason Vander Laan. The extra point was blocked, leading to a 13-0 margin.

Tech’s defense stiffened for the remainder of the half, holding the Bulldogs on three straight possessions with a turnover on downs, a punt and an interception. Unfortunately, the offense managed to cross midfield just once—a second-quarter drive that stalled at the Bulldogs 36.

Later in the half, a fake punt on fourth down with 2:54 to play in the half came up a yard short of the line to gain. FSU took the ball on Tech’s 38 and added a field goal before halftime for a 16-0 lead.

The Huskies got a defensive stop to open the second half, but fumbled their first play at their own nine. Four plays later, Ferris had a 23-0 lead. The gap grew to 37-0 before Garrett Mead‘s 31-yard field goal finished off scoring with 12:26 to play.

Vander Laan rushed for 139 yards and tailback Jahaan Brown added 150 more for the visitors.

Charlie Leffingwell, coming off a 202-yard performance against Grand Valley State last Saturday, was held to 41 yards. Kevin Miller added 38 yards on the ground.

Scarlett completed 22-of-46 passes for 208 yards. Anthony Root hauled in eight of those for 59 yards.

Tech held possession of the football for 34:02, but were out-gained 353-to-304 in total offense. Both teams fumbled twice. Ferris State recovered all four.

For the second straight week, DeShawn Nelson posted a team-high in tackles with eight. Cameron Allen added seven more.

“We didn’t tackle really well today, but we also put our defense in some bad spots with the two fumbles and the fake punt,” said Kearly.

“I told the team that one game isn’t going to make or break our season. We’ve got to bounce back and be ready to go next week.”

Michigan Tech, which is now 6-1 overall, will make its final road trip of the regular season to Tiffin next Saturday (Nov. 1) for a 1:30 p.m. kickoff.

(Information Courtesy of MTU Athletics)