Ferris State falls to SVSU in heartbreaker

Four Bulldog turnovers prove costly in 31-24 loss to No. 16 Cardinals

UNIVERSITY CENTER — The Ferris State Bulldogs took No. 16 Saginaw Valley State to overtime, but came out on the short end of a 31-24 league decision on Saturday in University Center.

The Bulldogs held a 24-17 lead late in the fourth quarter, but a costly fumble with 3:28 remaining allowed SVSU to drive 28 yards in five plays to knot the score on a 13-yard scoring toss from Jonathan Jennings to Tim Hogue.

FSU (3-2, 2-2) was able to drive into Cardinal territory in the final minute of regulation before the drive stalled, which gave SVSU new life.  The Cardinals had a potential game-winning field goal try as time expired, but could not convert as the two teams went to the extra session.

In overtime, Saginaw Valley State received the football first and was able to score on a one-yard TD pass from Jennings to Nathan Hoyle.  They they forced the Bulldogs into a fourth and 20 situation on their possession and redshirt freshman quarterback Jason Vander Laan was sacked on the game’s final play as SVSU preserved its homecoming win.

After a 25-yard field goal from FSU’s Austin Kantola allowed the Bulldogs to take a 3-0 lead after one period, the Cardinals appeared to have the game in their hands as they scored twice quickly early in the second quarter on a pair of Hogue touchdowns to build a 14-3 advantage.

However, FSU bounced back and cut the margin to 14-10 at halftime on a 17-yard scoring pass from Vander Laan to Jake Lampman with 5:59 to go in the second, which finished a 60-yard Bulldog drive in five plays.

FSU took a 17-14 advantage late in the third quarter when Vander Laan moved the Bulldogs 45 yards in four plays and scored on a keeper from 20-yards out.  SVSU responded by kicking a 41-yard field goal with 1:46 to play in the third after a Bulldog miscue.

In the fourth quarter, Ferris State drove 75 yards in 11 plays to build its 24-17 lead with 11:04 remaining and the score stood for most of the frame.  FSU had an opportunity to seal the victory after a big defensive stop late in the game, but fumbled in its own end which led to Hogue’s game-tying touchdown.

Ferris State turned the ball over four times in the game compared to one miscue for SVSU, which helped offset 514 total yards of offense for FSU. The Bulldogs allowed 393 yards to the Cardinals, including 138 on the ground.

FSU received 439 yards on the ground, including a game-high 254 yards and two scores from Vander Laan.  He completed 8-of-19 passes for 75 yards.

On the SVSU side, Hogue ran for 86 yards on 18 carries while Jennings completed 27-of-52 passes for 255 yards and three TDs. Michael Albrecth caught eight passes for 71 yards while Hogue had seven grabs for 75 yards.

Defensively, senior Jaime Barrera had 10 tackles for FSU while Jeff Heath paced SVSU with a game-high 18 stops.

Ferris State fell to 3-2 overall and 2-2 in the GLIAC with the setback while SVSU improved to 4-1 overall and 3-1 in the GLIAC.

The Bulldogs head to Allendale to face rival and unbeaten Grand Valley State in the Anchor-Bone Classic on Saturday evening at Lubbers Stadium.  Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

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