Memorable Ferris State Football Campaign Ends In NCAA D2 National Quarterfinals

Memorable Ferris State Football Campaign Ends In NCAA D2 National Quarterfinals

Postgame Highlights 
FSU Postgame Press Conference 
Harding Postgame Press Conference 

Big Rapids, Mich. - A short field goal on the game's final play ended the Ferris State University football campaign as the Harding Bisons knocked off the Bulldogs 16-14 in the NCAA Division II National Quarterfinals on Saturday (Dec. 2) at FSU's Top Taggart Field.

The visiting Bisons ran for 303 yards on the ground and had a game-ending 62-yard march resulting in a 20-yard field goal from Tristan Parsley as time experied to pull out the victory in the Super Region Three Championship game.

The Bulldogs were denied a second-straight trip to the national semifinals and concluded the year with an 11-2 overall record as their playoff run was halted by the Bisons' potent rushing attack.

Harding jumped in front early with a lengthy opening drive that ended on a 22-yard field goal from Parsley. The Bisons' opening drive, which gave them a 3-0 lead in the first period, took 17 plays and covered 79 yards while chewing up 10:20 on the clock.

Ferris State, though, answered quickly, as the Bulldogs drove 75 yards in only four plays to move in front 7-3 with 3:11 remaining in the first quarter on Davontae Harrington's four-yard TD run.

However, the Bisons capitalized on a Bulldog turnover as they intercepted an FSU pass to setup a short three-play, 18-yard drive early in the second quarter. Cole Chancey's one-yard scoring run with 14:19 left in the first half gave the Bisons a 10-7 edge at the break.

Another costly miscue came in the third period of action for FSU as a muffed punt return gave Harding the ball deep in Bulldog territory and Parsley ulitmately connected on a 37-yard field goal to push the advantage to 13-7 six minutes into the second half.

Ferris State got the go-ahead score when Harrington finished off a 10-play, 86-yard FSU jaunt with a 10-yard scoring run with 5:04 left in the third to push the Bulldogs in front 14-13.

The score stood until Harding drove 62 yards in 16 plays in the final 6:59 of the contest with Parsley making his third field goal as time ran out to push the Bisons' into the final four.

Overall, Ferris State had 221 yards of total offense, which featured 97 yards on the ground and 124 in the air. The Bisons attempted six passes, but did not complete a pass as all 303 Harding yards came from the rushing attack.

Senior quarterback Reggie Bell completed 12-of-19 passses for 124 yards for FSU with senior tailback Jahaan Brown leading the rushing attack with 77 yards on four carries. Junior wideout Malik Taylor paced the Bulldog receivers with five catches for 57 yards while Harrington added three grabs for 24 yards.

Chancey led Harding on the ground with 86 yards rushing while Grant Kimberlin added 77 yards and quarterback Terrence Dingle ran for 60 yards.

The Bulldog defense was paced by senior linebacker Nick Huckabay and Terrell Porter, who totaled 20 and 18 stops, respectively, in the setback.

Ferris State's 11 wins this season marks the fourth consecutive year in which the Bulldogs have won 11 games or more, which represents the first time in school history in which FSU has done so over four-straight years.

The Bulldogs' senior class also leaves with 45 wins over the past four seasons and will go out as one of the most decorated classes in school history with four-straight NCAA Playoff appearances and two trips to the national quarterfinals or beyond along with a pair of GLIAC Championships.