Snow doesn’t slow down the Bulldogs’ offense

Ferris tops Midwestern State 65-34 in the first round of the NCAA Div. 2 Playoffs

After starting quarterback Reggie Bell went down with an injury early in the first half, senior quarterback Trevor Bermingham took over and led the Dawgs to a 65-34 victory
After starting quarterback Reggie Bell went down with an injury early in the first half, senior quarterback Trevor Bermingham took over and led the Dawgs to a 65-34 victory Photo by: Keith Salowich

The Bulldogs advance to the second round of the Div. 2 Football Playoffs with a 65-34 home win behind Trevor Bermingham’s six touchdowns.

Ferris made easy work of the Super Region IV No. 7 seed Midwestern State Mustangs on Saturday, Nov. 19, with senior quarterback Trevor Bermingham firing up the Bulldogs on a snowy afternoon in relief of junior quarterback Reggie Bell. Bell limped off the field midway through the second period after being sacked.

Ferris scored first with junior receiver Jajuan Pollock running 74 yards on a speed option toss from Bell. The Mustangs would answer back with a methodical 10-play scoring drive.

After a back-and-forth three-and-outs, Bermingham was back to punt. The snap was good but he mishandled it in the snowy conditions and barely got the ball off. The ball got back to the line of scrimmage setting Midwestern State up for an easy score to put the Mustangs up 20-10.

Bell went down on their next possession and Bermingham took over at quarterback for the second straight week.

On Bermingham’s first possession, redshirt freshman running back Marvin Campbell, who got the start over injured junior Jahaan Brown, gashed the Mustang defense most of the drive and set the Bulldogs at the one yard line. Bermingham ran it in from there.

He scored rushing touchdowns on the next three Bulldog possessions, including the first possession of the second half to put the Bulldogs up 37-20.

The Bulldogs had scored 27 unanswered points to go up by 17. However, Midwestern would catch a break after Ferris forced a punt. The kick was short and the returner waived his blockers to move away, but the ball grazed the helmet of a ducking Bulldog and was recovered by the Mustangs.

Midwestern scored on a 21-yard swing pass from senior quarterback Quade Coward to junior receiver Deandre Black to make it 37-27.

Ferris remained unphased as Bermingham completed a 47-yard touchdown pass to sophomore receiver Malik Taylor to start a roll of 28 straight points.

Bermingham ran for his fifth touchdown of the day and then let the defense do the rest of the scoring. Junior cornerbacks Tavierre Thomas and Jevonte Alexander both returned interceptions to the house for touchdowns.

Senior safety David Churchwell had one of the most impressive interceptions of the year on a deep ball when he made a one-handed catch, arching backwards in an Odell Beckham-esque fashion. He returned it 42 yards to the Mustang 16 yard line.

The defense for Ferris was stout against the run as usual holding Midwestern State to 3.4 yards per rush and no touchdowns. Aside from the start of the game, the Mustang offense was shut down.

Senior linebacker Anthony Darkangelo led the Bulldogs with 12 tackles. Senior linebacker Nick Huckabay had nine tackles with one and a half for a loss.

With Jahaan Brown out this week, Campbell played well for a second straight game. He ran for 92 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries. Bermingham led the team in rushing with 127 yards and five touchdowns. He added 126 yards and a touchdown through the air on eight of 10 passes.

Taylor led the team in receiving with three catches for 69 yards and a touchdown. Senior Shakur Sanders had two catches for 38 yards.

Ferris will play sixth-seed Colorado Mines at home in the second round of the Div. 2 playoffs on Saturday, Nov. 26. If Ferris wins, they will play the winner of fourth-seed Texas A&M Commerce and first-seed Grand Valley State. The Lakers knocked the Bulldogs out of the playoffs last year when Ferris held the first seed so this could be the perfect setup for redemption.

For a full photo gallery of the action, click here.