Cassopolis’ Hunt-Thompson has three catches in Bulldogs’ opener

Published 10:33 am Sunday, September 3, 2023

BIG RAPIDS — The nation’s top-ranked Ferris State University Bulldogs got off to a big start in 2023 as the Bulldogs beat visiting Mercyhurst 54-12 Thursday night before a large crowd at Top Taggart Field.

Ferris State rolled up 628 yards in the season-opening win and the Bulldogs tallied eight touchdowns in the triumph.

The Bulldogs got off to a quick start as slot receiver Deion Small ran back an early punt 71 yards for a touchdown only 1:08 into the outing.

However, Mercyhurst scored twice in building a 12-7 advantage midway thru the opening frame in the first series’ matchup between the two teams since 2007. The second Mercyhurst score came following a FSU turnover.

The Bulldogs, though, responded as Ferris State scored twice more in the opening period, both on scores from sophomore quarterback Carson Gulker. His first came on a 16-yard scoring run that finished off a three-play, 75-yard march. The second gave Ferris State a 21-14 edge on a five-yard run, which came on a short field following a fourth down stop.

The Bulldogs extended the lead to 28-12 with only three minutes to play in the first half on a 34-yard scoring throw from senior quarterback Mylik Mitchell to sophomore slot receiver Brady Rose.

In the second half, the Bulldogs scored twice in the third period with senior slot C.J. Jefferson finding paydirt twice on scoring runs of nine and 38 yards.

The Bulldogs then added two fourth period scores as redshirt freshman quarterback Trinidad Chambliss found Jeremiah Housey on a 37-yard scoring throw before a final TD throw to Small.

The Bulldogs tallied 338 rushing yards on 37 carries and completed 11-of-20 throws for 290 yards. Chambliss ran for a team-high 78 yards while Jefferson added 47 rushing yards on two tries. Mitchell completed five-of-10 passes for 92 yards and Tyrese Hunt-Thompson (Cassopolis) caught three receptions for 43 yards. Wade had two catches for 91 yards.

FSU was led defensively by defensive backs Major Dedmond and Justin Payoute with seven stops each.

Ferris State will visit Ashland Saturday, at 7 p.m. Saturday for a non-league tilt in Ohio.