Anchor-Bone Classic has become more than a rivalry

Ferris and Grand Valley is a marquee game nationwide
Posted at 9:37 PM, Oct 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-14 13:25:46-04
Anchor-Bone Classic has become much more than a rivalry

No matter the circumstance, Ferris versus Grand Valley is big.

This year both teams are undefeated and ranked in the top six in the country ahead of their matchup Saturday night in Allendale in the Anchor-Bone classic.

"Playing D-II ball it is exciting to get this much excitement and media attention and all the noise around it," Bulldogs leading tackler Liam Daly said. "It is pretty exciting."

"That is part of why I came to GV," Lakers junior wide receiver Hunter Rison said. "The tradition, the pride so I came here for these types of games."

The hype has been earned.

The Bulldogs and Lakers have been established as two of the best division two has to offer.

"There is probably 12 teams left undefeated in Division II," Ferris State head coach Tony Annese said. "Two of them are in West Michigan, so everyone should be celebrating how great these programs are."

GVSU football
GVSU football

"Without an FCS program in the state of Michigan, once you get past the FBS, past the MAC, this is the premier football in the state," Grand Valley State head coach Matt Mitchell said. "We have a great thing going, it is highly competitive, it is a rivalry, it is super intense, there is a high level of football."

Ferris has won four straight in the series starting with the playoff win in Allendale back in 2016.

"I wasn't there during those times but just being with the guys I feel that with them and I know it is important to the seniors to go out there and leave on a good note," Rison said. "I am just going to do my best to be a good teammate and get a win for those guys."

The winner will have the inside track to the GLIAC Championship.

"So they are hungry for that, we know they are hungry for that," Annese said about the conference championship. "We are hungry to hold onto it they are hungry to take it."

Ferris State football
Ferris State football

Saturday's game is already sold out, there is a little doubt about the atmosphere that will await the players at Lubbers Stadium.

"I've played in a lot of big games in my life but up to date this is looking to be the biggest one of all and I'm really excited for it," Lakers senior defensive lineman Jake Hlava said. "Hopefully we can break an attendance record, that would be pretty awesome!"

"Exciting, great opportunity," Daley said. "Every Saturday is a great opportunity but this one you just get more people to do it in front of."

Saturday's game is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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