GAME ELEVEN RECAP:
SAGINAW VALLEY STATE 26, FERRIS STATE 14
Turnovers Doom Bulldogs In Season Finale At Top Taggart Field
Turnovers plagued the Ferris State University football team as the Bulldogs suffered a 26-14 loss to Saginaw Valley State in their 2008 season finale Saturday (Nov. 8) afternoon at FSU's Top Taggart Field in Big Rapids, Mich.
The Bulldogs turned the ball over seven times in the contest, including five lost fumbles, in dropping the annual Senior Day outing to the visiting Cardinals, who kept their postseason hopes alive with the victory. The Bulldogs honored their 17 seniors prior to the game, which was the final contest in the 100th season of Bulldog football.
FSU led 14-10 after the opening stanza, but the Cardinals came back to score 16 unanswered points in securing the victory. Ferris concluded the season with a 6-5 overall record and a 5-5 mark in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) action. SVSU improved to 7-3 both overall and in league play and now still has an outside chance of earning a NCAA Division II playoff berth as they entered the contest listed 10th in the Super Regional Three Rankings.
SVSU's Jeremy Burr connected on four field goals in the game, including a 37-yard one only 56 seconds into the game after the Bulldogs fumbled on their first play from scrimmage. Ferris came back to score three minutes later on a 65-yard drive capped by junior quarterback Kyle Parrish's 41-yard scoring run with 11:01 left in the opening period.
The Cardinals benefited from another Bulldog miscue with 7:43 to go in the first frame when Ja'Vae Ingraham scooped up a blocked punt and ran 13 yards to paydirt, giving SVSU a 10-7 advantage. Ferris answered with 3:52 remaining in the first quarter when redshirt freshman quarterback Tom Schneider scored on a nine-yard TD run following an 11-play Bulldog drive covering 63 yards.
The second quarter belonged to the Cardinals as Burr made field goals of 30 and 26 yards followed by a three-yard Brandon Emeott scoring run with only 1:23 to go in the initial half. SVSU tacked on a 34-yard Burr field goal with 11:46 left in the contest to account for the final margin.
Ferris had seven fumbles in the game, losing five, and also threw two interceptions. Four Bulldog drives in the second half resulted in turnovers while SVSU had no turnovers in the outing.
The Bulldogs tallied 14 first downs and 271 total yards in the game compared to 13 first downs and 277 yards for the Cardinals. FSU ran for 166 yards and threw for 105 yards while SVSU had 115 yards on the ground and 162 in the air.
Parrish, who started the game at quarterback for FSU, finished with a game-high 114 yards rushing on 21 carries. He also completed 12 of 30 passes for 97 yards, but was sacked three times and twice was intercepted. Schneider split time at both the quarterback spot and a receiver position for FSU and was one-of-three in the air for eight yards along with picking up 34 rushing yards on 11 attempts. He was also the Bulldogs' leading receiver in the contest with four grabs for 32 yards.
Emeott tallied 113 rushing yards on 32 carries for the Cardinals while Carl Grimes made a game-high five catches for 60 yards. Dan Stiefel was 13-of-30 passing for 162 yards.
Defensively, Bulldog senior defensive tackle Jake Visser capped off an outstanding career with a game-high 15 total tackles, including nine solo stops. The Harlon Hill Trophy candidate also had a sack, a quarterback hurry and two blocked kicks, both of which came in the final quarter. Senior linebacker Rob Evenboer added seven tackles in making his first start of the year while junior safety Chad Wilson netted seven tackles as well.
John Jacobs paced the Cardinal defense with 13 tackles and had two fumble recoveries.
The Bulldogs' 6-5 overall record this campaign represented the program's 14th winning season in the last 20 years and the ninth such one in 14 years for head coach Jeff Pierce.