No. 2 Ferris State Opens Season with Thrilling Win over Findlay
BIG RAPIDS – Reigning NCAA Division II national runner-up and second-ranked Ferris State kicked off its 2019 season with a thrilling 24-23 win over Findlay at Top Taggart Field on Thursday.
Trailing 24-17 with under a minute remaining in regulation, Findlay quarterback Matt Winzeler capped off a nine-play, 95-yard drive with a 2-yard touchdown run with 51 seconds left on the clock to bring the Oilers within one. Findlay elected to go for two, with Winzeler failing to connect on the pass attempt.
Senior quarterback Travis Russell connected on 15-of-24 passing for 228 yards with a touchdown and an interception for Ferris State. Russell also rushed for 61 yards and a score on 11 carries.
Sy Barnett led the Bulldogs (0-1) through the air with three receptions for 87 yards and a score.
Trailing 7-0 following Findlay’s opening-drive score Thursday, Russell connected with Barnett for a 59-yard touchdown to tie the game at 7-7 with 11:48 remaining in the first. Tyler Burch would give Ferris State a 10-7 lead through one quarter on a 24-yard field goal with 4:51 left in the first.
Ferris State would lead 17-14 at the half and would go ahead for good on Davontae Harrington’s 4-yard scamper with 11:57 left in the fourth.
Winzeler completed 18-of-39 through the air for 225 yards and two scores while carrying the ball twice for 15 yards and a touchdown.
The Oilers (0-1) outgained the Bulldogs 469-405, including 244-165 on the ground. Ferris State was penalized 13 times for 123 yards, which led to six Oiler first downs.
Ferris State heads on the road next week for a matchup with Central Washington on Saturday, Sept. 14. Kickoff is at 7:05 p.m.