Ferris State Stifles NW Missouri State, Punches Semifinal Ticket
BIG RAPIDS – Ferris State forced three turnovers and allowed just 158 yards en route to a 25-3 win over Northwest Missouri State in a NCAA Division II national quarterfinal at Top Taggart Field in Big Rapids Saturday afternoon.
The victory secures Ferris State’s second straight national semifinal appearance and third in the last four years as the Bulldogs ended Northwest Missouri State’s season for a second year in a row.
“What do you say about my team,” Ferris State head coach Tony Annese said after Saturday’s win. “It’s beyond my comprehension how gritty they are… Our defense was just purely dominant.”
The Bearcats were limited to 158 yards on 61 plays while the Bulldogs (12-0) totaled 465 yards on 81 plays.
Clinging to a 10-3 lead through three quarters Saturday, the Bulldogs tacked on 15 points in the fourth behind a pair of Jackson Dieterle field goals, a quarterback sack/safety in the end zone by 2019 Gene Upshaw Award winner Austin Edwards and Marvin Campbell’s 32-yard touchdown run with 1:26 remaining in regulation.
Dieterle made all three of his field goal attempts for the Bulldogs, connecting from 35, 20 and 31 yards out.
Campbell led the ground game with 149 yards and a score on 27 carries while Tyler Minor had 41 yards on 11 rushes.
Russell was 13-of-24 passing for 264 yards and an interception.
Xavier Wade caught four passes for 91 yards, including a 41-yard reception that later set up Russell’s score.
Dieterle’s leg provided the first points of the afternoon as Ferris State took a 3-0 lead with 9:02 left in the second quarter. The Bulldogs drove down the field late in the first half but stalled out on fourth-and-goal from the Bearcat 3 yard line with 19 seconds left before the break.
Senior quarterback Travis Russell tallied the first touchdown of the afternoon, capping off Ferris State’s first drive of the second half on a 3-yard keeper up the middle to put the Bulldogs ahead 10-0 with 11:44 left in the third quarter.
Parker Sampson finally got the Bearcats on the scoreboard with a 27-yard field goal with 5:47 left in the third.
Braden Wright completed 6-fo-16 passing for 54 yards and an interception for the Bearcats (12-2) while Justin Ranking recorded 47 yards on 14 carries.
— Joe Buczek (@JoeBuczek) December 7, 2019
Najeem Hosein led Ferris State defensively with 10 total tackles and a fumble recovery while Edwards had six tackles including a pair of sacks for a loss of 15 yards. Sidney McCloud had both an interception and fumble recovery for the Bulldogs.
Ferris State will now host West Florida (11-2) in a national semifinal on Saturday, Dec. 14. West Florida handed Lenoir-Rhyne a 43-38 loss on Saturday and knocked off 2018 NCAA Division II national champion Valdosta State in last weekend’s second-round game.
Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m.