Ferris State football hosts rival GVSU Saturday in Anchor-Bone Classic showdown

SACK BY ZACH: Ferris State’s Zach Sieler (96) is a national semifinalist for the 2016 Cliff Harris Award. (Courtesy Photo/Ferris Athletics)

By Ferris State Athletics

BIG RAPIDS — The Ferris State University football squad returns home to host archrival Grand Valley State in the Anchor-Bone Classic with potential playoff implications on the line this Saturday (Oct. 14) afternoon at Top Taggart Field in Big Rapids.

A huge crowd is expected for this week’s Anchor-Bone Classic presented by Schuberg’s Insurance and Auto Owners. The game will also be televised across the country by ESPN3 as part of the Division II National Showcase Game of the Week.

Kickoff is set for 1:05 p.m. (ET) and fans are encouraged to “come early, cheer loud and wear red!”.

Tickets for Saturday’s game can be bought online at www.StarTickets.com, by calling (800) 585-3737, or in person thru the FSU Athletics Ticket Office located inside the Ewigleben Sports Complex. The ticket office is open today thru Friday from 9 a.m. (ET) to 5 p.m. (ET) with extended hours on Wednesday until 7 p.m. (ET).

The Wheeler Pavilion Gameday Ticket Office will open on Saturday starting at 11 a.m. (ET). For more information on ticket sales, please call (231) 591-2888 or visit FerrisStateBulldogs.com.

Football tickets for Saturday’s premium game showdown are $18 for adults, senior citizens (ages 65+) and FSU faculty/staff along with $10 for students in grades K-12. Ferris students with ID will be admitted free by showing their student identification cards.

Parking in lots near Top Taggart Field is $5 per available space on a first-come, first-served basis. As a convenience to fans, credit cards will also be accepted at the ticket window along with the concession stand.

Tailgating will be permitted starting on Saturday at 10 a.m. (ET) with the gates to the stadium opening 90 minutes prior to kickoff at 11:30 a.m. (ET).

As part of this Saturday’s game, a special Bulldog Football Alumni Weekend will also take place with all former FSU football players invited back to attend the game.

The FSU-GVSU football game will be broadcast live locally by the Bulldog Sports Network and Sunny 97.3 FM with Rob Bentley handling the play-by-play duties and Sandy Gholston offering color commentary. Pregame coverage will begin at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday. The audio webcast along with internet statistics will be available at FerrisStateBulldogs.com.

Both teams head into Saturday’s contest ranked among the top 15 teams in the nation and it will represent the ninth time in series’ history in which both squads have been ranked in the major D2 national poll at kickoff. FSU is currently listed #12 in the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division II Rankings while GVSU is #7 overall. Both teams are ranked among the country’s top 10 teams in virtually every other D2 poll.

Saturday’s game will mark the third-straight year in which both teams have been ranked among the top 15 nationally at kickoff time and the fifth consecutive time, including postseason games each of the last two years. Two years ago, when the Bulldogs notched a decisive 61-24 regular-season victory in Allendale, it represented the first time both teams had been in the top 15 in 20 years since a 30-21 FSU victory over the Lakers on Sept. 30, 1995, in Big Rapids.

Overall, the two squads have both been found in the national rankings at kickoff time in the regular-season in 1993, 1994, 1995, 2008, 2015 and 2016 along with postseason matchups in both 2015 and 2016. FSU owns a 3-3-1 mark all-time against the Lakers when both squads are nationally-ranked.

The Bulldogs head into Saturday’s tilt with a 5-1 overall record and a 4-1 league slate after a decisive 49-17 win at Saginaw Valley State this past Saturday. Meanwhile, the Lakers are presently 6-1 overall and 5-0 in the GLIAC while winning six consecutive games since a season-opening non-league setback at Indianapolis.

Ferris State has captured four of the last five regular-season matchups between the two West Michigan rivals. The two teams have both also squared off in the NCAA Division II Playoffs each of the last two years with GVSU winning in 2015 in Big Rapids before FSU returned the favor with a 47-32 triumph over the Lakers a year ago in Allendale in the Super Region Four Championship game. Bulldog head coach Tony Annese owns an overall 5-2 mark against GVSU in his career.

The Anchor Bone Trophy is awarded annually to the winner of the Ferris State-Grand Valley State football game. The trophy debuted in 2002 and GVSU won the first nine matchups before FSU maintained possession of the trophy four consecutive years form 2012-15. The Lakers reclaimed the trophy in the regular-season last year and hold a 29-17-1 all-time series’ advantage entering Saturday’s showdown between the two schools.

Leave a Reply