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Ferris State’s top-ranked football team knew they were in for a challenge as they prepared for the 2022 season opener against Central Washington.
The Wildcats qualified for the playoffs last season and plenty of playmakers returned to make things interesting when they arrived at Top Taggart Field on Thursday night. However, the Bulldogs did not take their opponent lightly as they kept their foot on the gas and sped past Central Washington to win 36-20.
The non-conference win extended Ferris State’s regular season home winning streak to 39 games.
Central Washington opened the scoring with a 45-yard field goal by Jude Mullette at 1:42 of the first quarter. Ferris State wasted no time responding, as junior quarterback Mylik Mitchell connected with senior receiver Xavier Wade for a 64-yard touchdown reception as time expired in the first quarter to give the Bulldogs an early 7-point lead. -3.
The Wildcats regained the lead four plays later, when quarterback Quincy Glasper hit Darius Morrison for a 39-yard touchdown reception to put the challengers ahead 10-7 with 13:24 remaining in the second quarter.
Ferris State once again had an answer in return as they marched 78 yards in eight plays and capped off the drive with an 11-yard touchdown run by Marcus Taylor to take a 14-10 lead at the 10:46 mark of the second. fourth.
Senior quarterback Evan Cummings extended the Bulldogs’ lead on his next possession, capping another eight-play drive with a 35-yard touchdown run to give Ferris State a 20-10 lead with 6:24 remaining. half.
Central Washington put together a 9-play drive that covered 48 yards in nearly five minutes and Mullette converted on a 33-yard field goal attempt to make it 20-13 before halftime.
Mitchell added a 2-yard touchdown run midway through the third quarter that helped Ferris State extend its lead to 27-13 heading into the fourth quarter.
In the final stanza, the Bulldogs extended their lead to 34-13 when redshirt rookie quarterback Carson Gulker capped a 9-play 80-yard drive with a 2-yard touchdown run for his first career college touchdown. .
The Wildcats cut the deficit to 34-20 with 6:05 left in the game when Glasper scored on a 10-yard touchdown run, but the Ferris State defense would hold serve the rest of the game and add a safety at 4: 13. mark to bring the game to its final score.
The Bulldog offense proved to be the defining unit during Thursday night’s contest, as Ferris State racked up 494 total yards of offense. Central Washington couldn’t match the big-playing ability of the Ferris State offense, as they amassed only 229 total yards against a solid Bulldog defense.
Mitchell completed 19 of 29 passes for 339 yards and a touchdown and added 34 rushing yards and a touchdown on 18 carries to power Ferris State’s offense. Tyrese Hunt-Thompson had six catches for 97 yards, while Wade had four catches for 94 yards and a touchdown and CJ Jefferson had three catches for 87 yards. Marcus Taylor rushed for 31 yards and a touchdown on four carries and caught four passes for 32 yards.
Konnor Near anchored the Ferris State defense with six tackles, while Major Dedmond added five tackles and 0.5 sacks, Caleb Murphy and Jason Williams each added four stops and Jacarvis Alexandre had a team-high two pass breakups.
Ferris State’s No. 1 will hit the road next week when they travel to Hickory, NC, to take on Lenoir-Rhyne on Saturday, September 10 at 1 p.m. The Bears went 8-3 last season and were eliminated from the first round. of the Division II playoffs by Bowie State 31-10.
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