Curtis Meyer reporter
It all came down to the wire last Saturday, as the Pittsburg State Gorillas traveled to Grand Rapids, Michigan to face the Ferris State Bulldogs in the playoffs. Despite a monumental effort by the defense, Pitt State was ultimately unable to tie it on a field goal in the final seconds.
The Bulldogs won the toss and deferred. Receiving the kick, Pitt State was forced into a quick three and out, which summed up the game.
Ferris State took the punt and engineered a long drive, going 78 yards in 9 plays and ending with a 2-yard rushing touchdown.
Getting the ball back, Pitt State quarterback Chad Dodson threw a 41-yard pass to wide receiver Christian Carter on the first play. Despite this the offense was frustrated, before going for it on 4th and 7. With Dodson sacked, possession returned to Ferris State.
Ferris was driving, converting a 3rd down before they fumbled on the next play and Pitt State linebacker Morgan Selemaea recovered.
Dodson was sacked again, with the Gorillas forced to punt. The Bulldogs ended the game with 9 sacks for 71 yards as the offense struggled against a tough Bulldog defense.
Special teams created some excitement when cornerback Gasevan McGrue forced Ferris State return man Marcus Taylor to fumble the kick, and tight end Kaizer Newell recovered for Pitt State.
With the ball on the Ferris State 17-yard line, Dodson was sacked again, forcing a field goal attempt. Jaden Synder was the kicker for the Gorillas, with Cross Holmes out.
The field goal attempt was wide left, giving Ferris the ball back. Ferris State quarterback Mylik Mitchell found his receiver Brady Rose for a 69-yard touchdown, making it 14-0 with the first quarter ending.
Pitt State punted to start the second, but the Gorilla defense stabilized, forcing the Bulldogs to punt. With the run game struggling early, the Gorillas were very pass heavy, but despite converting a third down they were forced to punt on a 4th and 2.
Ferris State drove down to the PSU 27 but were unable to convert on a 4th and 7, giving Pitt State the ball back. The offense for Pitt finally started to find some rhythm, gaining a couple of first downs, but was still forced to punt.
Now with just a little over 2 minutes to go, Ferris State had a chance to go down and gain a commanding lead, but with 1:52 left safety Brandon Mlekus picked off Ferris State and took it all the way back for a defensive touchdown.
Despite there being only 1:52 left, the ball switched hands 4 times, with Ferris attempting a 44-yard field goal that was blocked by linemen Jeremy Sharp.
Going into the second half, a defensive battle ensued, with Pitt State linebacker Alex Gaskill forcing a fumble on Ferris State’s opening drive. The Gorillas were driving on their possession, but Dodson’s pass was intercepted by the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs then started to drive after starting on their own 7, but this time Gaskill produced an interception, shifting momentum yet again. Despite starting on the FSU 5-yard line, Pitt State could not find the endzone, with it ultimately ending on Dodson getting sacked on 4th down and goal.
Pitt State forced the Bulldogs to punt, and finally they found a groove offensively. Thanks to a pass interference call on 4th down, Pitt State was able to cap it all off with a 9-yard touchdown run by running back Caleb Lewis.
Ferris State drove down to the PSU 37 but punted on 4th and 12 instead of attempting the kick.
With the final quarter starting, neither team was able to grab momentum. With a late field goal with 9 minutes left, the Bulldogs stole the lead.
Neither team was able to move offensively, with both teams failing to convert on 4th down. After a long drive, Gentry Cole attempted a 44-yard field goal for Pitt State but failed to convert it. With 33 seconds left, Ferris State kneeled to end the game and escape with the win.