Big Rapids, Mich. – The University of Findlay football team, ranked no. 19 in the nation, traveled to take on the ninth-ranked Ferris State Bulldogs at Top Taggart Field in Big Rapids, Michigan on Saturday, Sep. 8 for the Oilers first top-25 matchup since 2009. Since 2013, the Bulldogs have a 29-5 record on their home turf and added another win with a 59-13 win over Findlay to improve to 2-0 on the year while the loss drops the Oilers to 1-1. It was the fifth time in school history that Findlay was matched up in a top-25 affair. Findlay is now 0-5 in such games.
The Oilers kicked off to begin the game and, their defense that played so well a week ago against Kentucky Wesleyan, forced a quick three-and-out on the first series. However, the Oilers muffed the punt and the Bulldogs recovered inside the Findlay 30-yard line. Just two plays later, Ferris State found the end zone to take a 7-0 lead.
Findlay's first offensive possession ended in a three-and-out and after the punt, the Bulldogs ran ten plays and covered 84 yards to score their second score of the game. The rest of the first half went in favor of the home team as the ninth-ranked team in the country ended the first 30 minutes of action with a 24-0 lead.
The Oilers finally got on the scoreboard in the third quarter with 2:49 remaining when junior Richard Wilson rumbled into the end zone from a yard out. That score made the score 31-6 in favor of the Bulldogs.
Two more touchdowns by the Bulldogs would put even more distance between the former Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) rivals and as the clock ran out, 46 points would separate the top-25 opponents.
Findlay finished the game with 340 yards of total offense, 178 on the ground and 162 through the air, while the Bulldogs had their way on offense, totaling 545 total yards, 267 of which came on the ground.
The contest was cleanly played as the teams combined for just five flags, four of which were unsportsmanlike conduct penalties in the final minutes of the game. Although the Oilers won the time of possession battle (32:41 to 27:19), the Bulldogs' scores came quickly as all eight touchdowns were achieved on drives that lasted less than four minutes.
Senior Rhys Gervais completed 13-of-26 passes for 99 yards and no touchdowns. It was just the second time in Gervais' career that he failed to throw for 100 yards in a start. Senior Adam Bertke completed 3-of-4 passes for 34 yards and a score. Peter Norris was the favorite target as he finished with six catches for 89 yards.
Defensively, the Oilers were led by senior Chiebuka Chukwuneke who had 12 tackles in the contest. Also with double-digit stops was senior Justice Jenkins with 11 tackles and senior Francis Cutchember, junior Myles Ross, and junior Isaac Miles who each had ten tackles. Junior Tyler Lee had two tackles and Findlay's only takeaway, a second quarter interception.
The Oilers are back in action next week when the host their home opener on Sep. 15 against William Jewell College. That game is set to kick off at 1:00 pm.