Early lead spurs Bulldogs to victory over Northwest Missouri State

Early lead spurs Bulldogs to victory over Northwest Missouri State

FSU Photo by Kevin McDermott

BIG RAPIDS – No. 2 seed Ferris State (13-0) controlled most of the first half to build a 20-0 lead and overcame No. 6 seed Northwest Missouri State's second-half threat to win Saturday's DII Super Region Three semifinal game, 27-20, at Top Taggart Field.

FSU led 14-0 in the first quarter following touchdown runs of 2 yards by Marvin Campbell and 8 yards by Evan Cummings. Jackson Dieterle kicked 45 and 44-yard field goals in the second quarter.

Northwest Missouri State (10-3) closed out the first half with a 19-yard touchdown pass from Braden Wright to Shawn Bane. With 12:03 remaining in the third quarter, the Bearcats cut the lead to 20-14 on a 32-yard interception return by Jack Richards.

Ferris State extended its lead to 27-14 during the final minute of the third quarter when Travis Russell scored from the 2-yard line. The Bearcats ended the game with a 2-yard TD pass from Wright to Alex Tatum.

FSU quarterback Travis Russell was 6-of-11 passing for 147 yards and carries 15 times for 80 yards. Sy Barnett had two receptions for 106 yards, and Keyondre Craig added three catches for 99 yards. Campbell finished with 84 yards on 15 carries.

The contest was a rematch of the 2016 NCAA Division II National Semifinals won by the Bearcats on their home field en route to a national title. Today's game pitted the two winningest programs in D2 football over the past five seasons.

Ferris State advances to the NCAA Division II regional championship on Dec. 1.