BIG RAPIDS, Mich. – Michigan Tech led at halftime against the defending Division II national champions but fell short to No. 7 Ferris State 28-20 Saturday afternoon at Top Taggart Field. The Huskies made just their second trip to Big Rapids in seven years. Carson Gulker’s three rushing touchdowns at quarterback were enough to lift Ferris State to a 6-1 overall record (3-1 GLIAC). Michigan Tech fell to 3-5 (2-2 GLIAC).
“I was proud of our effort against another very good football team,” said head coach Steve Olson. “Give credit to our opponent for fighting hard in the second half. We own our own mistakes of course but I felt they made good adjustments. It’s going to be important for us to bring the same type of drive next week against another quality opponent.”
The Huskies started off a five-yard connection between senior quarterback Will Ark and sophomore wide receiver Darius Willis in the back right of the endzone. The touchdown was preceded by a 76-yard catch and run up the right sideline by Brandon Michalak. Drew Wyble added a 23-yard field goal to put the visitors ahead 10-0 at the 1:29 mark of the first quarter.
The Huskies limited the high-powered Bulldogs to just 68 passing yards in the first half. Following a 5-play, 55-yard drive, Ferris State quarterback Carson Gulker found the endzone with 1:44 to play in the second quarter. A good punt pinned the Huskies inside the five just before the break, but Tech’s offensive line kept quarterback Will Ark in front of the goal line, preserving the narrow advantage 10-7.
Gulker found more success through the air in the second half and Tyrese Hunt-Thompson finished with 130 yards and a touchdown, including a 75-yard play score in the fourth quarter. Gulker added touchdown runs of one yard and seven yards to give Ferris State a 21-10 lead.
Hunter Beuchel attempted to seize back momentum when he picked off an underthrown football by Gulker and ran it back 25 yards for his first interception for a touchdown (second overall) this season. Drew Wyble connected on a 20-yard attempt, as MTU climbed back to within one possession with 5:38 remaining (28-20), but the Huskies came up short of midfield on their final drive and the Bulldogs kneeled down to win.
Michalak posted a career-high 155 yards receiving on eight catches. Darius Willis chipped in seven receptions for 48 yards and one touchdown. GLIAC leading tackler Marc Sippel led the defense with 15 tackles (two solo) and Braxton Blackwell finished with 12 (eight solo). Hunter Beuchel was visible with three tackles for loss and 11 total tackles.
The Huskies return to Houghton next Saturday at 1 p.m. when they host No. 1 Grand Valley State at Kearly Stadium. Ferris State travels to Northern Michigan next.
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