HOUGHTON, Mich. – The Michigan Tech football team suffered a tough 30-28 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference loss at the hands of 7th ranked Ferris State Saturday afternoon at Sherman Field. Bulldogs kicker Wyatt Ford connected on a 36 yard field goal with seven seconds left on the clock in the fourth quarter, resulting in the final tally.
"I thought the key today was probably the third quarter," Head Coach Tom Kearly said. "We had four possessions in a row in the third where we turned it over and they were able to take the lead. To our kids credited, we battled back and took the ball into the wind to score in the fourth to regain the lead at that point. We went toe to toe with them and had our chances and I thought we played well in a lot of spots. You can't blame effort and I think we gave it everything we had. The key for us now is not to let this game beat us again. We have to put this one behind us and get ourselves ready to play a very good Ohio Dominican team at their place on Saturday."
Ferris State (2-0, 2-0 GLIAC) powered out to a 10-point lead in the first quarter on a field goal by Ford and a 27-yard pass from quarterback Reggie Bell to Malik Taylor. Ford's field goal came from 32 yards out with 7:13 remaining in the first period and Taylor found the end zone at the 3:13 mark.
However, Michigan Tech (1-1, 1-1 GLIAC) would charge back thanks to a dominating second quarter. The Huskies put their first seven points on the board after engineering a 14 play 75-yard drive that started at the end of the first and went into the second period. Senior quarterback Brandon Cowie had completions of 22 and 15 yards to junior wide receiver Ian Fischer to get the offense rolling. Another eight-yard toss to Fischer followed by a 12-yard completion to senior wide receiver David Walter put the ball at the Bulldogs two-yard line. That setup junior running back John Williams who plowed into the end zone to make it a 10-7 game.
The Huskies' defense then stonewalled the Ferris St. attack on the ensuing possession that went four downs and out and resulted in a four-yard punt. It didn't take long for the Tech offense to capitalize and grab the lead. From the Bulldogs 31-yard line, Cowie found Fischer through the air again for 21 yards and on the next play junior running back James Henderson broke the plain of the goal line to make it 14-10.
After another three and out by the Ferris State offense, the Huskies took over at their own 32-yard line and didn't waste any time getting back into the end zone. On second and 10, Cowie completed an 11-yard pass to Walter followed by a halfback pass from Williams to junior wide receiver David Falish for a 57-yard TD. The extra point by junior kicker Josh King extended the lead to 21-10 for Tech with 6:30 remaining in the first half.
Neither team would add any points during the final minutes of the second quarter although Ferris State would threaten right before the break. The Bulldogs brought the ball all the way down to the Tech 10-yard line with under a minute left, but junior linebacker Spencer Moran picked off a Bell pass with 10 seconds on the clock, preserving a 21-10 Husky lead at Halftime.
The Michigan Tech defense forced another turnover on the opening drive of the third quarter when freshman defensive back Travis Tidwell stepped in front of a Bell pass at the Ferris State 38-yard line. Unfortunately, the Huskies gave the ball back on an interception turned in by Willie Smith.
The Bulldogs weren't able to put points on the board off the turnover, but it took away a potential opportunity for Michigan Tech to increase the gap. However, late in the third quarter a couple more Tech turnovers were converted to points by the Bulldogs. A fumble deep in Tech territory led to a 13-yard run by Bell to make it a 21-17 game. Following an interception on the next possession, Bell took off again up the middle for 58 yards and another Ferris State touchdown. The extra point by Ford made it a 24-21 lead for the Bulldogs.
The score stayed unchanged until early in the fourth quarter when the Huskies regrouped to pull back in front. Tech took over on its 36-yard line and marched 64 yards to the end zone. Cowie opened the drive with a 32-yard pass to Walter and then another 22-yard strike to Fischer placed the ball at the Bulldogs 18. Senior running back Kevin Miller took the ball forward for six yards and then Cowie tacked on three more with a keeper. On third and one at the Ferris State nine, junior fullback Alex Sherbinow powered in for his first TD of the season after leading the Huskies in rushing touchdowns a year ago. King's extra point gave Tech a 28-24 lead with 12:30 to play.
Ferris State answered with a 24-yard field goal by Ford on their next drive and then put together with winning possession starting at the 1:11 juncture of the fourth quarter. Bell found Malik Taylor on a 34-yard pass to put the ball in Tech territory before eventually making it down to the 19-yard line. With 11 seconds left, Ford lined up the 36-yard game winning field goal.
Cowie completed 13 of 27 passes for 248 yards while Williams had the only touchdown pass on the 57-yard strike in the second quarter. Williams added another rushing touchdown for the Huskies on the afternoon. Falish caught his first touchdown of the year while Sherbinow and Cowie notched their first running touchdowns of the season as well. Fischer led the receivers with six catches for 114 yards followed by Walter with four receptions for 90 yards. As a team, the Huskies generated 350 yards of total offense with 305 yards coming through the air.
Defensively, senior linebacker Ben Tauchen had 13 total tackles with nine solo stops. Tidwell followed with 11 tackles, an interception, and a pass break-up while sophomore defensive lineman Cody Goldsworthy produced nine total tackles with two sacks. Junior defensive back Derek Cingel and Moran had the other two interceptions.
Bell ended the game for Ferris State 22 of 40 through the air for 242 yards with a touchdown and three interceptions. Bell also paced the team in rushing with 151 yards and two more scores. Jahaan Brown touched the ball 17 times on the ground and racked up 113 yards. Taylor caught nine passes for 138 yards and one touchdown. Anthony Darkangelo had 12 tackles with 3.5 going for a loss to guide the Bulldog defense.
The Huskies will look to bounce back Saturday when they head to Columbus, Ohio to take on Ohio Dominican University in another GLIAC showdown. The kickoff is slated for 12:00 PM.