Robert Miller Scores Three Touchdowns In Annual Ferris State Gridiron Tilt

Robert Miller
Senior Robert Miller put on an impressive display for the Crimson team with three touchdowns in Friday's Crimson and Gold Spring Football Game.

The Gold squad rallied from a 14-point second-half deficit to force a 28-all tie versus the Crimson team in the annual Ferris State University Crimson and Gold Spring Football Game Friday (April 20) evening at FSU's Top Taggart Field in Big Rapids, Mich.

"I was encouraged with how the guys came out and performed," said FSU head coach Jeff Pierce, who will start his 13th year at the Bulldog helm this fall. "The game was competitive as both teams went back and forth. I was pleased with the level which we competed at and there was a lot of good effort shown out there.

"We also went the entire (spring) game without any major injuries which was huge," Pierce added.

The Crimson team scored first on senior slot back Robert Miller's (Carson, Calif./Harbor C.C.) 82-yard kickoff return midway through the first quarter to go up 7-0. But, the Gold squad would tie the contest with just over 10 seconds left in the opening quarter as senior quarterback C.J. Van Wieren (Holland/West Ottawa) threw an 18-yard scoring strike in the corner of the end zone to sophomore split end Chris Wilson (Hingsville, Ga./Long County).

Both teams exchanged touchdowns in the second quarter with the Crimson squad tallying on sophomore fullback Dan Underhill's (West Olive/Allendale) 12-yard TD run at the 9:12 mark. An 85-yard kickoff return by sophomore Dominique Smith (Muskegon Heights) of the Gold team less than a minute later knotted the game at 14-apiece going into halftime.

The Crimson squad would reel off 14 unanswered points in the second half to claim a 28-14 advantage as Robert Miller scored on a 76-yard TD run at 12:55 of the third quarter . Miller would hit paydirt again with just over five minutes remaining in the third quarter as he took a screen pass from sophomore quarterback Kevin Ward (Commerce/Lakeland) and dashed 65 yards for a TD. The Gold squad would account for the remainder of the game's scoring as sophomore quarterback Eric Grozenski (Rochester Hills/Notre Dame Prep) hooked up with redshirt freshman Matt Schuelke (Paris/Reed City) for an 80-yard TD pass play with 1:55 left to go in the contest to draw within 28-21. On their last offensive possession, the Gold team was able to move the ball down the field and converted as freshman David Johnson scored on a three-yard TD run with 56.9 seconds remaining. The extra-point kick attempt was successful to force the 28-all tie as time expired. A running clock was applied throughout the second half.

The contest represents the conclusion of Ferris' spring practice session.

"I believe we made a lot of progress this spring," said Pierce. "The attitude and committment shown this spring has been really exciting to see. The players have made a pledgeto continue working hard this offseason and will hold each other accountable as we set our sights on winning a conference championship."

Ferris State will officially begin its 99th year of varsity competition Saturday, Sept. 1, versus the Kentucky State University Thorobreds in a 7 p.m. (EDT) non-conference tilt at Top Taggart Field. The season-opener is among 11 regular-season contests for the Bulldogs in the upcoming 2007 campaign.

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