Big Rapids, Mich. - The 19th-ranked Ferris State University football squad registered its first road victory at Hillsdale in 13 years on Saturday (Nov. 5) as the Bulldogs rolled to a 41-20 triumph over the Chargers at Muddy Waters Stadium in Hillsdale.
The Bulldogs bolted out to an early 14-0 lead and cruised to the win while improving to 8-2 overall and in league play. The win also kept FSU's NCAA Playoff hopes alive heading into the final week of the regular season.
Prior to Saturday's tilt, the Bulldogs had dropped five consecutive contests at Muddy Waters Stadium and had not won in Hillsdale since 2013. The win was also the first for FSU against Hillsdale in three tries under head coach Tony Annese, who has now defeated every school in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC).
Ferris State started fast as the Bulldogs took the opening drive 65 yards to the endzone with junior tailback Jahaan Brown scoring on a four-yard TD run with 9:41 to play in the first frame. His TD run finished a 12-play game-opening drive for the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs added another first period score when junior quarterback Reggie Bell hooked up with sophomore wideout Malik Taylor on a slant pass for a 43-yard touchdown with 1:39 remaining in the first quarter. FSU moved 72 yards in five plays on the drive to take a 14-0 lead after one.
Hillsdale managed to put its first points on the board only nine seconds into the second frame when QB Chance Stewart found talented wideout Trey Brock on a 61-yard scoring strike. The Chargers needed only four plays and 72 yards to trim FSU's lead to 14-7 in the game.
However, Ferris State answered in a big way as Brown scored on a 65-yard TD run to push the FSU lead to 20-7 with 7:37 to play in the first half. The score stood as the Bulldogs headed into the locker room at halftime with a two-score advantage.
Ferris State erased any chances of a Charger comeback as the Bulldogs drove 68 yards in 10 plays early in the third quarter to push the edge to 27-7 on a one-yard scoring run from Bell. His TD run represented the only points of the third period.
FSU also opened the fourth quarter with a score when Bell found paydirt on a 25-yard keeper to make it 34-7 with 13:26 left in the game. His final scoring run finished a six-play, 53-yard FSU drive.
Brock tallied his second score of the game for the Chargers with 10:16 left when Stewart found him down the sideline on a 54-yard TD throw to finish a six-play, 75-yard Hillsdale scoring drive.
But, FSU answered again as quarterback Trevor Bermingham engineered a six-play, 54-yard FSU march, finding senior wideout Kenny Feyh in the endzone from 17-yards away with only 5:30 remaining. Feyh's TD catch pushed the Bulldog lead to 41-14 before Hillsdale scored again late when Stewart hooked up with Brock for the third time on a nine-yard scoring toss with just over a minute remaining.
Ferris State totaled 451 yards of total offense and held possession for nearly 34 minutes in the game as the Bulldogs racked up 260 rushing yards, including a game-high 140 yards and two scores from Brown. Bell completed 13-of-22 throws for 147 yard and a score.
On the outside, Taylor caught eight passes for 102 yards for FSU while Feyh made three grabs for 39 yards.
Defensively, the Bulldogs limited Hillsdale to only 26 rushing yards on 17 carries. Tailback Joe Reverman paced HC with 21 yards on nine attempts. Meanwhile, Stewart completed 27-of-42 passes for 338 yards and three scores, but was sacked four times by the Bulldogs. Brock had a game-high nine catches for 160 yards and three TD's.
Ferris State will return home to host Saginaw Valley State next Saturday, Nov. 12, with kickoff set for 1 p.m. (ET) at Top Taggart Field. The Bulldogs will also honor their senior class during Senior Day ceremonies prior to the regular-season home finale.