Initially, the crowd was electric and roaring at the start of the game. Those cheers turned to silence as the score board gleamed 47-32 in the fourth quarter.
Junior quarterback Reggie Bell started the game but was replaced by Bermingham after an opening drive fumble and a second quarter interception.
Ferris scored first when the Bulldog defense dropped Laker quarterback Bart Williams for a 14-yard loss and safety. Ferris went up 12-0 after a touchdown and a field goal before being gashed for a 48-yard touchdown by Laker running back Marty Carter.
Grand Valley kicked a field goal and Ferris had one blocked before the end of the first half, which left the Bulldogs with a 12-10 lead but little momentum heading into halftime.
The Lakers scored on their first possession of the second half after a huge pass put them in the red zone. Williams would throw it in from there to put GVSU up 17-12.
Sophomore receiver Malik Taylor became a huge factor for the Bulldogs after he returned the next kickoff across midfield to the Laker 48. On the first play of the drive, Taylor set the Dawgs up from the five yard line after a 40-yard catch. Bermingham punched it in from there.
Bermingham scored on their next possession on a 15-yard draw.
The lakers responded with a nine-play, 72-yard drive that ended with a 12-yard touchdown pass to shorten the Bulldogs’ lead to 26-24.
Ferris scored 14 unanswered points via Bermingham rushes with Taylor racking up 62 yards between the two possessions.
The second of the two scores came after the Lakers fumbled the ball in their own territory.
Near the end of the fourth, the Lakers were looking to mount a comeback. However, they fumbled again on their own 30. Ferris gave the ball right back with a fumble of their own.
This gave Grand Valley some life down 16 points. The Lakers drove from their 10 to the Bulldog 20 where Williams was able to connect with his receiver for another touchdown and the ensuing two-point conversion to cut it to a one score game.
Grand Valley attempted an onside kick following the score, but junior defensive back KC Zenner picked the ball up and took it to the house to make the score 47-32.
Bermingham finished with 163 yards on nine of 11 passing and 51 rush yards with four touchdowns.
Junior running back Jahaan Brown led the team in rushing with 86 yards. Taylor led them in receiving with 132 yards on five catches.
Nick Huckabay led the team in tackles with 10. Sophomore defensive end Zach Seiler accounted for 3.5 sacks and a forced fumble.
With this win the Bulldogs move to the Div. 2 semifinals where they will hit the road to play defending national champion Northwest Missouri State at 3:30 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 10 at Bearcat Stadium in Maryville, Mo.
For a photo gallery from the game, click here.