2023 Ferris State vs Grand Valley State

GVSU Football Vs. Ferris State Recap: Lakers Hold On For Win

GVSU Football Vs. Ferris State Recap: Lakers Hold On For Win

In one of the biggest rivalry games in NCAA Division II football, the Anchor-Bone Classic, Grand Valley State topped No. 1 Ferris State, 49-28.

Oct 15, 2023 by Matt Cannizzaro

Grand Valley State nearly saw an unprecedented lead slip away against the No. 1 team in the nation Saturday, but the Lakers were able to hold on at home to win the 2023 Anchor-Bone Classic over Ferris State, 49-28.

The Lakers jumped out to a 35-0 lead in just over a quarter of action at Lubbers Stadium in Allendale, Michigan, but the Bulldogs rallied back with 28 consecutive points of their own. 

Though a combined 56 points were scored in the first half, the pace slowed after halftime, including the GVSU defense holding Ferris State scoreless in the fourth quarter to win the rivalry game and coveted Anchor Bone Trophy for the second consecutive season. 

In the 2022 edition of the Anchor-Bone Classic, Grand Valley State got the best of the Bulldogs, 22-21, ending a six-game losing streak (including the postseason), but Ferris State got revenge in the playoffs. The Bulldogs ousted the Lakers from the national quarterfinals and rolled to their second straight national title.

Grand Valley State, the reigning Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference champion, entered this week's meeting at No. 7 in the American Football Coaches Association Division II Coaches Poll and improves 5-1 overall this year with the win. The Lakers are 2-0 in GLIAC action.

Ferris State, which entered the game at the top of the AFCA poll, falls to 4-2 overall and 2-1 in conference play. The Bulldogs came into the week tied with Davenport atop the GLIAC standings at 2-0. Davenport is taking on Wayne State this week and could finish the weekend with sole possession of first place.

Both teams in the GVSU-Ferris State showdown Saturday went with a two-quarterback attack, but Grand Valley State’s performance was much more balanced.

Senior Cade Peterson got the job done through the air, completing 15-of-25 passes for 151 yards and three touchdowns, while junior Avery Moore kept the wheels in motion, running for a team-best 126 yards and two scores on nine attempts.

The Lakers finished with 252 yards on the ground and 181 through the air for 433 yards of total offense. Peterson did throw an interception in the win.

Ferris State, led by senior Mylik Mitchell and sophomore Carson Gulker, did most of its damage in the air. The two combined to complete 27-of-45 passes for 383 yards and three touchdowns. 

The Bulldog running game, however, was held to just 55 yards on the day, paced by sophomore Deion Small, who had 40 yards on two carries but left the game in the third quarter due to injury.

The defensive leader for Grand Valley State on Saturday was sophomore linebacker Anthony Cardamone, who led the team with 11 total tackles, including three sacks. He also returned an interception for a touchdown in the second quarter.

The Grand Valley defense combined for eight sacks, three forced fumbles, two interceptions and a fumble recovery. 

Up next for GVSU is a conference game on the road against Northern Michigan next Saturday at 1 p.m. Eastern. 

Ferris State will travel to Michigan Tech next week and face the Huskies on Saturday at 1 p.m. EDT.

Highlights: Ferris State Vs. Grand Valley State | 2023 GLIAC Football


Final Stats - Ferris State Vs. GVSU

StatsFerris StateGVSU
First Downs2119
Rushing Attempts2931
Rushing Yards55252
Rushing Avg1.98.1
Receiving Yards383181
Receiving Avg14.211.3
Passing Yards383181
Pass C-A-I27-45-216-27-1
Kick Return Yards6-805-84
Punt Return Yards1-192-11
3rd Down Eff6-175-12
4th Down Eff3-40-1
Total Points2849

GVSU Knocks Off No. 1 Ferris State

Grand Valley State holds on to defeat the two-time defending national champions and current No. 1-ranked Ferris State Bulldogs in Allendale, Michigan, 49-28.

Grand Valley State Adds Exclamation Point Against Ferris State

With just over a minute remaining in the game, GVSU quarterback Cade Peterson connects with Jordan Johnson in the back of the end zone for a 16-yard score. Josh Gorball adds the extra point to put Grand Valley State ahead 49-28.

GVSU Quarterback Cade Peterson Breaks Free

Lakers quarterback Cade Peterson keeps the ball from the shotgun and runs straight up the middle for 43 yards. 

Grand Valley State now has 252 rushing yards on the day, while Ferris State only has 13.

GVSU Defense Stops Ferris State Late In Fourth Quarter

Ferris State was denied an opportunity to cut the GVSU lead. The Lakers take over with three minutes to play. They're on their own 43 and just need to run out the clock to defeat the No. 1 team in the country.

Sack Attack From GVSU

The Grand Valley State defense has sacked the Ferris State quarterback tandem of Mylik Mitchell and Carson Gulker seven times on the day.

GVSU sophomore Anthony Cardamone, who also has an interception and a score, leads the effort with three sacks.

Check Out Avery Moore's Touchdown Run For Grand Valley State

GVSU Adds To Lead

Avery Moore breaks for 44 yards down the right sideline to give GVSU some breathing room with less than 15 minutes to play.

Josh Gorball adds the extra point to make it 42-28.

The GVSU offense hadn't scored since the second quarter.

Moore has run for 131 yards and two touchdowns Saturday.

Fourth Quarter Underway In 2023 Anchor-Bone Classic

Fans are getting the excitement they were hoping for, and the final quarter of the annual rivalry game is underway in Allendale, Michigan.

Grand Valley State hasn't beaten Ferris State in back-to-back opportunities since 2016.

The Lakers won last year, 22-21, but Ferris State took the win in the playoffs.

Ferris State's Mylik Mitchell Hits Tyrese Hunt-Thompson

Ferris State Scores Again, Cuts Lead To 35-28

Defense has ruled in the second half of the GVSU-Ferris State game, but the Bulldogs are able to get on the board again.

Ferris State quarterback Mylik Mitchell was able to scramble on third-and-21 to get into the red zone, and he connects with Tyrese Hunt-Thompson on fourth and 5 for a 10-yard score.

Middleton add the extra point, and the deficit is cut to 35-28.

Ferris State has scored the game's last 28 points. 

GVSU Picks Up Huge Third-Down Sack

On third and 11, Ferris State quarterback Carson Gulker drops back and is spun to the ground by GVSU's senior linebacker Abe Swanson, forcing a Ferris State punt.

Have Penalties Been The Downfall For Ferris State?

The Bulldogs have been tagged for 12 penalties for 95 yards in two and a half quarters.

Ferris Defense Answers

A fourth-and-1 opportunity for GVSU was squandered by the Ferris State defense. The Bulldogs tripped up GVSU sophomore Terez Reid to deny the Lakers the first down.

Ferris State takes over on downs at its own 34-yard line with 7:31 left in the quarter.

GVSU Defense Steller In Third-Quarter Stand

Ferris State had all the momentum, but the GVSU defense was able to keep the Bulldogs from finding the end zone.

Sophomore Mitchell Middleton misses a 40-yard field goal attempt. The score remains 35-21.

Ferris State's Deion Small Injured

Ferris State scatback Deion Small tried to hurdle the GVSU defenders on a second-down rush in the third quarter and was injured on the play.

He was taken from the field by medical personnel. He was conscious and moving his arms and legs, but there's no additional info at this time.

Here Come The Ferris State Bulldogs

The rally continues for the No. 1 team in the country, as the Bulldogs march down the field after the interception

This time, Carson Gulker is able to float a third-down pass down the left sideline to Tyrese Hunt-Thompson, who breaks coverage and nearly wins the footrace. He's pushed out of bounds at the 19-yard line after a 44-yard play.

Ferris State Starts Strong With Interception

A third-down pass from GVSU quarterback Cade Peterson, intended for Cody Tierney, was intercepted by Ferris State junior defensive back Lento Smith.

The Bulldogs get the ball at their own 35 yard line with 13:13 to go in the third quarter.

Second Half Underway In Ferris State - GVSU Anchor-Bone Classic

GVSU has the ball to start the second half at home. 

The Lakers were up 35-0 in the first half, before Ferris State was able to rally for three quick scores in the second quarter.

First-Half Stats - Ferris State Vs. GVSU

StatsFerris StateGVSU
First Downs1011
Rushing Attempts1815
Rushing Yards41114
Rushing Avg2.37.6
Receiving Yards155135
Receiving Avg15.515
Passing Yards155135
Pass C-A-I10-19-20029-14-2000
Kick Return Yards4-533-63
Punt Return Yards1-191-0
3rd Down Eff5-92-5
4th Down Eff0-00-0

Ferris State At GVSU Turning Into A Game

Ferris State Capitalizes, Cuts Deficit 

On the first play from scrimmage after the fumble recovery, sophomore Deion Small takes the option pitch from Carson Gulker and runs it in for the 37-yard score. 

Middleton kicks the extra point through, and Ferris State cuts the deficit to 35-21.

Grand Valley State Falters, Fumbles As First Half Winds Down

After the Ferris State score, GVSU gets the ball back, and quarterback Avery Moore takes to the ground again. On first and 10, Moore's sweep and cutback results in a fumble, which Ferris State recovers. Senior Major Dedmond is credited with the recovery.

Ferris State gets the ball at the GVSU 37-yard line.

Comeback Continues For Ferris State

With 1:33 left in the half, Ferris State quarterback Carson Gulker avoids the blitzing GVSU defense on third and 13, and tosses a pass down the left sideline for Tyrese Hunt-Thompson, who turns back, makes the grab and lunges for the goal line and the 16-yard score.

Mitchell Middleton add the extra point to make it 35-14, still GVSU's advantage.

Ferris State Gets On The Board Against Grand Valley State

Down 35-0 in the first half, Ferris State has taken to the air.

On third-and-11 at the GVSU 25-yard like and 8:34 left to play in the half, Ferris State sophomore quarterback Carson Gulker connects with a wide open Xavier Wade for a touchdown.

The 24-yard score makes it 35-6. Sophomore kicker Mitchell Middleton adds the extra point to make it 35-7.

Check Out The GVSU Defensive Score

GVSU Defense Steps Up 

With just under 13 minutes left in the half and the Bulldogs deep in their own territory, Ferris State quarterback Mylik Mitchell is picked off again, this time by sophomore linebacker Anthony Cardamone, who takes it in (20 yards) for the score.

Josh Gorball adds the PAT to put the Lakers up 35-0 against the No. 1 team in Division II football.

GVSU Lakers Add To Lead Against Ferris State

The Lakers get back into the red zone with a 36-yard shovel and run from Cade Peterson to Kyle Nott. Nott was brought down at the Ferris State 15.

On the next play, Peterson connects with Cody Tierney at the front of the end zone, and the 15-yard pass puts the Lakers up 27-0. Gorball kicks another one through to make it 28-0.

GVSU Special Teams Getting Things Done, Too

On the ensuing kickoff, GVSU catches Ferris State off guard with an onside kick. Sophomore Stone Smeenge recovers for GVSU, and the Lakers have the ball back at midfield.

More From GVSU's Avery Moore, Lakers lead 21-0

Avery Moore takes a first-and-10 snap early in the second quarter, makes a sweep to the right side, cuts back and takes it down the sideline for 37 yards and the score. 

Josh Gorball adds the extra point to make it 21-0.

Things Going Grand Valley's Way

A mishandled snap was bobbled by GVSU punter Trace Hrgich. He gets control but can't get a decent kick off. However, he still gets it to go 59 yards. Ferris State ball with less than two minutes to play in the first quarter.

Grand Valley State Scores Again - Moore to Nott

Avery Moore able to jump in for the short-yardage situations. On a third-and-2 opportunity, he uses a play-action fake to go deep and connects with junior wide receiver Kyle Nott for a 30-yard touchdown - which included a one-handed grab for the score.

Josh Gorball adds the extra point to make it 14-0.

Quarterback Rotation Working For Grand Valley State

Cade Peterson and Avery Moore are keeping the Bulldogs on their toes. Both are taking snaps. Moore being used on the ground.

Ferris State Fumbles Again

GVSU forces another Ferris State fumble. Mylik Mitchell gets hit hard and fumbles out of bounds on third down. He leaves the field, rattled, and Ferris State punts again.

GVSU Lakers Unable to Capitalize

Grand Valley State was not able to capitalize after the interception and ends up punting the ball. The Bulldogs get the ball back at their own 20.

GVSU Gets Ball Back With Interception

Junior defensive back Ian Kennelly picked off a second-down pass from Mylik Mitchell to get the ball back for GVSU with just under 12 minutes remaining in the first quarter.

Grand Valley Football Takes Early Lead Against Ferris State 

GVSU senior quarterback connected with junior wide receiver Cody Tierney on the first play from scrimmage for 36 yards to open the scoring at the 2023 Anchor-Bone Classic. Josh Gorball added the extra point to make it 7-0.

Ferris State Fruitless First Possession

Ferris State quarterback Mylik Mitchell had some trouble holding onto the ball in the Bulldogs' opening drive. The field is wet from rain this week. He did recover his own fumble, but nothing came of it. Ferris State punts it away.

Grand Valley State Wins Coin Toss, Ferris State Will Get The Ball To Start

GVSU won the opening coin toss of the 2023 Anchor-Bone Classic, and Ferris State will get the action started at GVSU's Lubbers Stadium

When Is The Ferris State Vs. Grand Valley State Football Game?

Ferris State will take on Grand Valley State at Arend D. Lubbers Stadium in Allendale, Michigan, on Saturday, Oct. 14 at 3 p.m. Eastern.

How To Watch The Ferris State Vs. Grand Valley State Football Game

Football action is streaming live on FloFootball and the FloSports app, including the Ferris State and Grand Valley State football game during Week 7. 

Replays and postgame highlights also will be available on both platforms. 

Today In The GLIAC

Saginaw Valley State def. St. Xavier (Illinois), 32-10
Davenport def. Wayne State (Michigan), 32-3
Michigan Tech def. Northern Michigan, 62-0

How Do The GVSU Lakers Get Into The Zone Before A Game?

Ferris State Football Coach Tony Annese Weighs In

Ferris State head coach Tony Annese talks to the media about the 2023 Anchor-Bone Classic.

Fast Fact: GVSU Football With Reason To Celebrate

The GVSU Lakers are in their 52nd year of action in 2023, and the team has had a successful half-century. 

Grand Valley State is the winningest program in NCAA Division II history with a 435-150-3 record, while also ranking No. 1 in the GLIAC with a 310-77-3 mark.

Fast Fact: Ferris State Remains No. 1 Team In The Nation

Chasing a third consecutive national championship, the Ferris State Bulldogs are in the midst of an incredible run.

In the last nine seasons, including 2023, the Bulldogs have compiled a 104-11 record, earned two national championships, five conference titles, enjoyed five undefeated seasons and reached the national quarterfinals six times.

This year marks the 114th season of Ferris State football.

More About The Anchor-Bone Classic

Grand Valley State does lead the all-time series, which includes four playoff meetings since 2015, by a 30-23-1 margin, but Ferris State has won seven of the last 10 games overall, including six consecutive from the 2016 playoffs to the 2021 postseason.

The first year of the Anchor-Bone Classic was 1971, with Ferris State winning 57-0. 

Since 2002, the annual rivalry also has included a coveted keepsake, the Anchor Bone Trophy, which Grand Valley State claimed in its first nine opportunities. 

The GLIAC And The Playoffs

Ferris State has played in three of the last four NCAA Division II championship games, falling to Valdosta State in 2018, before getting redemption against the Blazers in 2021 and knocking off Colorado School of Mines in 2022.

Another win this season would make Ferris State the first team to win three consecutive titles since North Alabama accomplished the feat in 1995.

Grand Valley had an amazing run from 2001-2006, making the Division II championship game five times in those six years and nearly matching North Alabama’s performance – twice. 

The Lakers were the runners-up in 2001, won it all in 2002 and 2003 and then lost in the quarterfinals in 2004. They were back on top with wins in 2005 and 2006 but lost in the national semifinals in 2007.

Northwest Missouri State owns the record for the most Division II national titles, winning six times from 1998-2016.

Will The 2023 Anchor-Bone Classic Come Down To The QBs? 

Ferris State has a trio of quarterback options, and all three have excelled this season, picking up GLIAC Offensive Player of the Week honors during the first six weeks of the 2023 campaign. 

Senior Mylik Mitchell has handled things through the air for the Bulldogs this year, and he has completed 44-of-66 passes for 736 yards and eight touchdowns, plus one interception.

Sophomores Carson Gulker and Trinidad Chambliss have gotten things done on the ground, and they lead the team in rushing with 408 and 205 yards, respectively. 

Grand Valley State quarterback Cade Peterson already has proven himself, so its no secret that the reigning GLIAC Offensive Back of the Year is capable of big things. 

Through five games this season, the senior slinger has passed for almost 1,000 yards and is second on the team in rushing with 206 yards on 40 carries. He’s a clear double-threat.

Read more about each team’s quarterbacks: Ferris StateGrand Valley State

Will this week’s matchup being a high-scoring affair like most of their other games this year, or will Ferris State and GVSU fight through another nail-biter?

How Will The Anchor-Bone Classic Impact The GLIAC Race?

Ferris State and Grand Valley State have been dominant in the GLIAC and across Division II football for the last two decades, and they the hardware to prove it.

History might suggest that this week’s Anchor-Bone Classic is a springboard to the conference title and a spot in the postseason, and that probably wouldn’t be a shock to anyone.

However, two other teams also are unbeaten early in GLIAC play, with 2-0 Davenport having become a looming threat over the 2022 and 2023 seasons. 

A win over Grand Valley State on Saturday would be a huge step and statement for Ferris State, which also is 2-0 in the conference slate. 

GVSU is a game behind in conference action, so a win for the Lakers would be important in keeping them from falling too far behind early in the season.

There’s a lot of eyes on this one. 

Read more: How The Anchor-Bone Classic Will Impact GLIAC Race And Beyond

Watch: GVSU O-Lineman Scores Touchdown

GVSU quarterback Cade Peterson passes it to one of his offensive linemen, Jordan Davis, for the big-man touchdown.


Other GLIAC News This Week

Courtesy of the GLIAC:

On Oct. 9, the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference announced its weekly awards following Week 6 of the 2023 football season. 

Ferris State senior quarterback Mylik Mitchell received GLIAC Offensive Player of the Week accolades, Grand Valley State senior defensive end Christian McCarroll earned GLIAC Defensive Player of the Week and Wayne State junior kicker Griffin Milovanski was recognized as GLIAC Special Teams Player of the Week.

Ferris State Football Schedule 2023

All times Eastern

  • Aug. 31: Ferris State 54, Mercyhurst (Pennsylvania) 12 (W)
  • Sept.9: Ferris State 38, Ashland 28 (W)
  • Sept.16: Montana 17, Ferris State 10 (L)
  • Sept.30: Ferris State 78, Northern Michigan 3 (W)
  • Oct.7: Ferris State 38, Saginaw Valley State 17 (W)
  • Oct.14: at Grand Valley State, 3 p.m., FloSports
  • Oct.21: at Michigan Tech, 1 p.m., FloSports
  • Oct.28: American International, 1 p.m., FloSports
  • Nov. 4: at Davenport, noon, FloSports
  • Nov.11: Wayne State, 1 p.m., FloSports

Grand Valley State Football Schedule 2023

All times Eastern

  • Aug. 31: Colorado School of Mines 31, Grand Valley State 28 (L)
  • Sept.9: Grand Valley State 57, Colorado State Pueblo 49 (2OT) (W)
  • Sept.16: Grand Valley State 43, Assumption 7 (W)
  • Sept.30: Grand Valley State 55, Saginaw Valley State 14 (W)
  • Oct.7: Grand Valley State 65, Kentucky State 7 (W)
  • Oct.14: Ferris State, 3 p.m., FloSports
  • Oct.21: at Northern Michigan, 1 p.m., FloSports
  • Oct.28: Michigan Tech, 3 p.m., FloSports
  • Nov.4: at Wayne State, 1 p.m., FloSports
  • Nov.11: Davenport, 1 p.m., FloSports

The Rest Of The Week 7 GLIAC Football Schedule

Here’s what the GLIAC action looks like this week. All times are Eastern.

Saturday, Oct. 14

  • Saginaw Valley State at St. Xavier (Illinois), 1 p.m.
  • *Davenport at Wayne State (Michigan), 6 p.m.
  • *Michigan Tech at Northern Michigan, 7 p.m.

*Streaming live on FloSports

2023 GLIAC Football Standings







Ferris State



Grand Valley State



Wayne State (Mich.)



Michigan Tech



Saginaw Valley



Northern Michigan



NCAA Division II Football Rankings As Of Oct. 9, 2023

Here is the Week 7 AFCA Division II Coaches Poll


School (first-place votes)





Ferris St. (Mich.) (27)





Colorado School of Mines (3)





Pittsburg St. (Kan.)





Minnesota St.





Ouachita Baptist (Ark.)





West Florida





Grand Valley St. (Mich.)





Delta St. (Miss.)





Harding (Ark.)





Slippery Rock (Pa.)





Benedict (S.C.) (1)





Lenoir-Rhyne (N.C.)





Indianapolis (Ind.)





Western Colorado





Bemidji St. (Minn.)





Davenport (Mich.)





Central Missouri





Henderson St. (Ark.)





Truman St. (Mo.)





Angelo St. (Tex.)





Assumption (Mass.)





Augustana (S.D.)





Shepherd (W.Va.)





Virginia St.





Emporia St. (Kan.)




  • Dropped Out: Minnesota-Duluth (17), Valdosta St. (Ga.) (19)
  • Others Receiving Votes: Valdosta St. (Ga.), 51; Tiffin (Ohio), 46; Virginia Union, 40; MissouriWestern St., 33; Minnesota-Duluth, 30; Texas A&M-Kingsville, 24; Texas-Permian Basin, 20; Charleston (W.Va.), 18; Tuskegee (Ala.), 6; Central Washington, 2; Barton (N.C.), 1; Southern Arkansas, 1.

Archived Footage On FloFootball

Video footage from the event will be archived and stored in a video library for FloFootball subscribers to watch for the duration of their subscriptions.

Join The Conversation On Social At FloFootball